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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

LGBTQ group criticizes the Florida legislature for 'alarming' bills

A large group holding Pride flags and signs in front of the Florida Capitol
Equality Florida
Special to WGCU
Hundreds of Floridians rallied in the state Capitol Tuesday to condemn Governor Ron DeSantis and extremist legislators for their intensified attack on basic freedoms with an alarming slate of over 20 new anti-LGBTQ bills.

Equality Florida says the bills "attack the freedoms, the rights and dignity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Floridians.”

An organization that advocates for LGBTQ Floridians on Tuesday decried what it calls “an alarming slate” of bills filed for the 2024 legislative session.

Joe Saunders, senior political director for Equality Florida, said the organization is opposing 22 bills “that attack the freedoms, the rights and dignity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Floridians.”

FIND OUT MORE: Florida 2024 legislative slate

For example, Equality Florida is opposing two identical bills (HB 599 and SB 1382) that, in part, would place restrictions on the use of personal pronouns in government agencies. Under the bills, state and local government agencies would be barred from requiring employees and contractors to refer to other people “using that person's preferred personal title or pronouns if such personal title or pronouns do not correspond to that person's sex” as determined at birth.

Equality Florida also is opposing two House bills that the organization dubbed “trans-erasure” bills. One of the bills (HB 1233) would prevent the state from issuing driver's licenses or identification cards that list “a person's sex as different from that specified on the person's original certificate of live birth.”

The other bill (HB 1639) would require health-insurance policies that cover “sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures” to also cover “treatment to detransition from the sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures.” In recent years, issues related to gender identity have been among the highest-profile political battles in the Capitol.

“Floridians are fed up with government intrusion into our private lives,” Saunders, a former state House member, said during a news conference at the Capitol. The 60-day session started last week.

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