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Anti-gender-Affirming bills in the Florida House for vote this week

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Two bills that would criminalize gender-affirming care for minors are scheduled to receive votes this week and would ban the Florida House.

Last week, the Senate approved a bill sponsored by Nassau County Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough. SB 254 would allow courts temporary emergency jurisdiction over a child should that child receive gender-affirming therapies.

That bill was pushed along to the Florida House of Representatives, which will hold a vote this week.

The House has its own bill that it plans to vote on as well, which has similar language. Still, it would also prevent insurance companies from covering gender-affirming care procedures for adults and prohibits a person's biological sex from being changed on birth certificates.

“The House bill would ban private insurance companies from covering medical care for transgender adults, which would mean people who've gotten their prescriptions covered by their health insurance plan for the last 20 years would lose their health insurance coverage for medication,” said Brandon Wolf, communications secretary with Equality Florida.

In March, Representative Randy Fine, one of the bill's sponsors, defended the bill during a Senate subcommittee arguing the legislation is necessary to protect children in Florida.

“We put guard rails. That is the role of society. There are certain acceptable things that parents can do and in our view, in the majority view, this ain’t one of them,” Fine said

Wolf disagrees.

“This has never been about protecting children. From the time they said it was just about their deep concern about girls' sports and whether or not you know, teenage trans kids should be playing soccer with their friends," Wolf said. "It has never been about children, it has always been grounded in a belief, this belief they have that trans people are not real and should no longer exist in society."

In March, the Florida Board of Medicine's ban on gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth took effect, which bars doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgeries to treat new patients younger than 18 for gender dysphoria, the discomfort one feels with the sex assigned at birth.

The ban goes against the standards provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has stated that therapies and surgeries are medically necessary to alleviate gender dysphoria.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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