TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would ban treatments for minors who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
The bill, which is sponsored by Republican state Sen. Clay Yarborough, bans surgeries and treatments like puberty blockers.
“Let’s let kids be kids. Let’s make sure they’re not subjected to what could be very negative effects through these treatments and procedures,” Yarborough said. “We are also, I believe, neglecting our duty as lawmakers if we allow these experimental investigational as they’ve been deemed. Treatments and procedures to happen on minors.”
The bill includes more than just a ban. It gives courts the power to vacate, stay or modify child custody agreements to “protect the child from the risk of being subjected to the provision of sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures.”
“This is too important just to let it not have anything in Florida statute speak to it and right now, there’s nothing.” State Sen. Clay Yarborough said.
Democrats and transgender advocates have condemned the bill, saying it will cause severe harm to trans youth.
House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell says the bill is one of many bills being considered this session that are an attack on the LGBTQ community.
“Republicans and Democrats tend to agree on 90% of the bills that come before us. But what is starting to happen is that 10% is becoming outsized. People are feeling the impacts of that 10% very personally.”
But the House Speaker says this is about protecting children.
“Don’t change their bodies forever when they may make a different decision when they become an adult,” House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast said.
The House and Senate bills aren’t identical. So the bill could face changes before making its way to the governor’s desk.