The Florida Senate committee Thursday passed Senate Bill 1674, which mandates the use of washrooms associated with an individual’s sex assigned at birth. The “Safety in Private Spaces Act” is one of the latest measures that advocates say are meant to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
The act poses a penalty of up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine to any adult that refuses to promptly leave the bathroom “designated for the opposite sex” as requested. Additionally, the committee passed SB 1438, which suspends or altogether revokes licenses of businesses that permit the attendance of minors in drag shows. These involve live adult entertainment that depicts or stimulates nudity, sexual conduct or lewd exposure.
This bill is similar to North Carolina in 2016, where legislators passed HB 2, which was eventually repealed. The bill underwent national battles as a result of different opinions on transgender students’ use of washrooms. Similarly, a fine of $10,000 was imposed on those who willfully entered restrooms for the opposite sex.
The Florida bill has not only faced backlash from LGBTQ advocates but also from democrats who argue that the bill is too vague and a government overreach. The bills now head to the full Senate after passing the committee.