The Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy voted 8–3 Monday to advance a bill that would largely criminalize and further restrict the provision of sex-reassignment hormones and procedures to minors.
Introduced by Florida State Senators Clay Yarborough and Keith Perry, Senate Bill 254 would give Florida courts temporary emergency jurisdiction over any child present in the state who is at risk of being subjected to, or is currently receiving, sex-reassignment prescriptions or surgeries. The bill would also bar state health insurance programs and state agencies from funding sex-reassignment procedures, requiring health care providers to certify they do not offer sex-reassignment surgeries or prescriptions to minors to remain eligible for license renewal. It would also make providing sex-reassignment prescriptions and procedures to minors a felony under Florida law with some exceptions for individuals born with a sex development disorder.
Yarborough also recently sponsored bills including SB 1320, which would prohibit discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity until eighth grade, as well as SB 1438, which would allow the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to revoke the license of a public establishment that admits children to live performances depicting nudity or sexual content. Yarborough showed support for these bills when he explained, “This legislation sends a strong message that Florida is a safe place to raise children.”
In opposition to the bill, Equality Florida’s Director of Transgender Equality Nikole Parker said, “Parents have the right to make healthcare decisions for their children. This includes healthcare widely and safely used with children for decades. A supportive parent could lose custody of their child and face felony prosecution for seeking life-saving care.”
Just last week, college students in Florida held protests over House Bill 999, which would ban diversity, equity and inclusion programs on college campuses.