Hours before the 2020 legislative deadline, seven Florida Republican lawmakers submitted four anti-LGBTQ bills on Jan. 13.  

The lawmakers, which include Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Sen. Dennis Baxley, Rep. Byron Donalds, Rep. Michael Grant, Sen. Joe Gruters, Rep. Bob Rommel and Sen. Keith Perry, all came together to introduce the bills that each included a companion bill in the House and Senate.  

HB 1365 “Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” would make it a second-degree felony to provide certain medical care or treatments to transgender children.  

According to Sabatini’s Facebook post on the bill, he said, “No parent should be allowed to sterilize, castrate, or permanently disfigure a child.” 

HB 305 Preemptions of Conditions of Employment,” would repeal the protections that are currently in place for employers to not discriminate against people for their sexual orientation or gender identity.  

HCR 309 “Equal Rights for Men and Women,” and HB 537 “Home Based Business,” could legalize conversion therapy where it has previously been banned and allow it to be performed within the home. 

“It’s hard to believe that this is a legislature where three LGBTQ members are proudly and openly serving, but it is,” State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith saiin a Tweet This is what it feels like to be kicked in the gut by your colleagues. I am so utterly offended and disappointed. 

Politicians all over the nation have expressed opinions over the controversial bills, many taking to social media to share their thoughts, including democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren who retweeted Smith’s tweet 

These bills would cause immense harm to LGBTQ+ Floridians—especially children,” Warren wrote. “I’ll fight to protect LGBTQ+ youth, including by passing the Equality Act, banning conversion therapy nationwide, and ensuring that every LGBTQ+ person gets the gender-affirming health care they need. 

Florida isn’t the only state that has recently put forth anti-LGBTQ legislation. South Dakota also has a pending House bill that seeks to criminalize providing certain care for transgender youth. Missouri and South Carolina have bills that would ban transgender-related care. 

These bills have caught the attention of several local advocacy groups and many have released statements on the bill.  

“This is the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida Legislature in recent memory,” Equality Florida Public Policy Director Jon Harris Maurer said in a press release. “It runs the gamut from openly hostile legislation that would arrest and imprison doctors for providing medically necessary care, to legislation that would carelessly erase critical local LGBTQ protections.” 

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