Equality Florida's Full 2021 Legislative Slate
Equality Florida's 2021 Legislative Slate
(Updated: March 2, 2021)
OPPOSE HB 935: Defeating the Anti-Trans Youth Bill is a top priorities for Equality Florida. This would imprison doctors for providing affirming medical care for trans youth and puts the legislature between a child, their parents, and their doctor. It is not only dangerous and contrary to best practice medical care, and it also deprives trans youth of the sort of opportunities that all other kids enjoy and are key to young people’s development. Sponsor is Rep. Sabatini.
OPPOSE HB 1475/SB 2012: Florida is one of 23 states where the far right has coordinated the filing of Trans Sports Bans targeting children. This legislation would categorically ban transgender youth from all sex-segregated sports, overriding parents and coaches, while denying kids the unique opportunities to grow and learn that sports provide. Young people learn important life lessons from participating in sports, lessons like leadership, teamwork, self-discipline, and more. Transgender youth experience the most bullying and marginalization. We should be protecting transgender youth and educating our community about their needs, not further ostracizing them based on misunderstandings and who they are. Sponsors are Rep. Tuck and Senator Stargel.
MONITOR HB 241/SB 582: The “Parental Bill of Rights” purports to re-codify parental rights and responsibilities, many of which already exist in law. Parents, including LGBTQ parents, deserve to guide the care and education of their children. And, we know that not all children come from loving and supportive homes. We have concerns that this bill as filed could compel schools to out LGBTQ youth who face unsupportive or dangerous home environments. Schools are also often the first place where youth disclose abuse. School districts, guidance counselors, and teachers should have the flexibility to determine when disclosing information may endanger a student. Sponsors are Rep. Grall and Sen. Ray Rodrigues.
SUPPORT HB 655/SB 600: The School Voucher Equality Bill would ban any private school who discriminates against LGBTQ students from receiving public money. LGBTQ students need support and affirmation to succeed, and sanctioned discrimination in our schools with our tax dollars is wrong. Sponsors are Rep. Eskamani and Sen. Rouson.
SUPPORT HB 6017/SB 558/SB 632: It’s past time to Repeal the Marriage Ban by deleting the outdated, patently unconstitutional statute that bans recognizing same-sex marriage and defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. It devalues our hard won marriage rights. Sponsors are Rep. Rayner, Sen. Polsky, and Sen. Torres.
SUPPORT HB 493/SB 1356: Everyone’s gender identity should be respected, and the Gender Marker Update would require applications for driver license or ID card to provide for male, female, or nonbinary gender designation. Sponsors are Rep. Arrington and Vic Torres.
MONITOR HB 301/SB 690: Conversion Therapy Protections are critical because this practice is fraudulent, dangerous, and inflicts immeasurable harm on its victims. Minors are especially vulnerable, as it is proven to lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, self-harm, and suicide. The scope of this bill is significantly narrower than conversion therapy protections enacted around the country and locally around Florida, and it does not yet address how most conversion therapy is inflicted today. We continue to work with the bill sponsors to determine how to best protect LGBTQ youth from this serious harm. Sponsors are Rep. Grieco and Sen. Polsky.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE & PROTECTING DEMOCRACY
SUPPORT HB 43/SB 194: The Hate Crimes Law Expansion would amend existing hate crimes law so that crimes of prejudice based on gender or gender identity are also considered hate crimes. Transgender people, and specifically transgender women of color, are disproportionately the victims of hate motivated violence. They deserve the full protection of law. Sponsors are Rep. Geller and Sen. Berman.
SUPPORT HB 1465/SB 1618: HIV Modernization is designed to reduce criminal penalties for persons living with HIV, and bring our outdated statutes into alignment with decades of modern advances in HIV prevention science. Laws that criminalize living with HIV discourage testing, increase stigma, and contribute to the spread of HIV. Sponsors are Rep. Felicia Robinson and Sen. Pizzo.
SUPPORT HB 1471/SB 718: The panic defense shifts blame onto LGBTQ people for crimes committee against them; Eliminating the Gay and Trans Panic Legal Defense would ensure that assailants cannot escape the consequences of harming or killing an LGBTQ person because of a bogus fear about sexual orientation or gender identity. There is no excuse for such violence. Florida should join the eleven states that have already banned the defense. Sponsors are Rep. Carlos Smith and Sen. Book.
OPPOSE HB 1/SB 484: The Anti-Protest Bill is a direct attack on democracy and undermines the public’s First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly that have been critical in the fight for LGBTQ equality. It is also expected to increase incarceration of black and brown people with harsher sentencing and penalties, encourages violence against protesters by removing liability for law enforcement and counter-protesters in the event of injury or death, and undermines local authority in policing decisions Sponsors are Rep. Fernandez-Barquin and Sen. Burgess.
REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM & HEALTH
Advocating for reproductive freedom is crucial to our fight for LGBTQ equality. It includes ensuring access to safe and legal abortion and supporting access to basic healthcare. That is why we are proud to fight shoulder to shoulder with our friends at Planned Parenthood, the Florida Latina Advocacy Network, Florida NOW, and so many others to defend access to reproductive health services.
SUPPORT HB 607/SB 928: The PrEP & PEP Access bill reduces barriers to accessing critical HIV prevention medication and facilitates insurance coverage, thereby allowing people to take responsibility for their health, improving public health, and moving Florida toward ending the HIV epidemic. Sponsors are Rep. Duran and Sen. Ray Rodrigues.
OPPOSE HB 545/SB 410: Restricting Access to Sex Ed creates barriers for young people to access education to make responsible decisions about their sexual health at a critical point in their lives, rather than teaching them about safety, relationships, consequences, relationships, and their own bodies. Stigmatizing sex education does the opposite of keeping kids safe. Sponsors are Rep. Chaney and Sen. A.M. Rodriguez.
OPPOSE HB 351/SB 744: The Twenty-week Abortion Ban is an unconstitutional attempt to oppose safe and legal abortion by imposing restrictions on access to abortion without exceptions for circumstances like rape or incest. The decision to carry a pregnancy should not be made by lawmakers in Tallahassee. Sponsors are Rep. Gregory and Sen. A.M. Rodiguez.
SUPPORT HB 6039: Safe and legal abortion is healthcare, and access to it should not be infringed upon for politically-motivated reasons. Repeal Abortion Restrictions would eliminate the burdensome mandatory delay law for access to abortion and would allow family planning organizations that also provide abortion access to receive public funds for pregnancy prevention programs. Sponsor is Rep. Eskamani.
SUPPORT SB 914: The Florida Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances Act will protect access to reproductive healthcare by enforcing federal laws. Reproductive health care providers should not have to fear for their personal safety when they provide care to patients, and those patients should be able to access care free from violence, threats, and harassment. Sponsor is Sen. Linda Stewart.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
After the Pulse massacre claimed 49 lives, we committed to advocating for common sense gun violence prevention as part of our work to move equality forward for LGBTQ people. We know that discrimination against our community can be lethal, and gun violence is a civil rights issue that disproportionately impacts marginalized communities, including people of color and immigrants. Alongside allies like the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, we are advocating for policies to keep our families safe.
SUPPORT HB 653/SB 370: Bans on Military-style Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines are an important policy reform, especially after the Pulse massacre. There is no legitimate reason for private citizens to have access to military-style assault weapons used by the shooters at Pulse in Orlando, the music festival in Las Vegas, and at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. These weapons of war do not belong in civilian hands. Sponsors are Rep. Carlos Smith and Sen. Farmer.
SUPPORT HB 167/SB 294/SB 428: Safe Storage legislation ensures safer handling of firearms by requiring owners to use a lock or secured container when a weapon is accessible to a minor. This helps prevent unauthorized users, including children, from accessing firemarms, which can reduce tragedies due to unintentional discharges, suicide, and gun theft. Sponsors are Rep. Hunschofsky, Sen. Polsky and Sen. Farmer.
SUPPORT HB 6033: Preemption of Firearms and Ammunition. Repeals provisions preempting the field of regulation of firearms and ammunition to the Legislature, to the exclusion of local jurisdictions. Sponsor is Rep. Daley.