Florida Legislature Passes Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill

Florida Legislature Passes Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill

TALLAHASSEE, FL – By a vote of 80-36, the Florida House passed HB 1521, which now heads to the Governor’s desk. Republican State Representatives Stark and Stevenson joined Democrats in voting no. The Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill is part of Governor DeSantis’s Slate of Hate and the fourth anti-LGBTQ bill to pass the Florida legislature in three days. This bill perpetuates discrimination and exclusion of transgender Floridians by prohibiting gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms in schools, prisons, detention centers, and government buildings. Following extensive public outcry, the legislation was narrowed from its original scope impacting private businesses and healthcare facilities statewide.

“This bill criminalizes transgender people for using the restroom that aligns with how they live their lives every day,” said Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida Public Policy Director. “This bill opens the door to abuse, mistreatment, and dehumanization. Our state government should be focused on solving pressing issues, not terrorizing people who are simply trying to use the restroom and exist in public.”

If the bill is signed by Governor DeSantis, publicly-owned buildings would be subject to these new restrictions mandating and enforcing that bathroom use be separated by sex assigned at birth. A similar effort in North Carolina in 2016 drew international outrage and plunged their state’s economy into chaos. The move led major corporations and events to flee North Carolina, costing the state over $3.6billion. As a result, Republican Governor Pat McRory was ousted in his reelection bid.

SB 1521’s passage comes amidst an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ, anti-freedom bills that have been fast-tracked by a GOP-led legislature acting as a rubber stamp for the Governor’s agenda. On Tuesday, the Senate sent SB 1580 to the Governor’s desk, known as the License to Discriminate in Healthcare. The bill creates a broad license for health care providers and insurance companies to refuse services based on a “religious, moral, or ethical belief.” Despite fears from LGBTQ advocates that this could open the door for discrimination in health care services for LGBTQ families and other minorities, the bill passed on a party line vote. On Wednesday, the Senate also sent HB 1069, the Don’t Say LGBTQ Expansion Bill, to Governor DeSantis for signature. The bill extends last year’s censorship of classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity now up to eighth grade. It overrides a parent’s right to ensure that school personnel address their transgender child with the correct title and pronouns. The bill also dramatically accelerates book banning efforts in Florida, allowing any person in a county to automatically remove a book from school shelves pending a lengthy review on the grounds of certain objections.


Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.



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