Florida Passes Bill That Allows for “Legal Kidnapping” of Transgender Children

“This legislation ensures dying … It violates my parental rights,” stated a mother or father of a trans youngster.

The Florida Home of Representatives has approved a invoice that may enable state courts to take away transgender kids who’re receiving gender-affirming care from their households.

SB 254 would classify gender-affirming take care of transgender youth as a type of “severe bodily hurt,” which could possibly be cited throughout a custody enforcement listening to to permit unsupportive mother and father to take “bodily custody of [the] youngster.” The amended invoice, which initially passed on April 4 by a vote of 27 to 12, now returns to the Senate.

The vote comes because the Florida legislature has additionally lately handed two different anti-LGTBQ bills — one concentrating on LGBTQ pleasant companies and one prohibiting gender-inclusive loos.

“It’s shameful that our Florida Legislature continues to go harmful payments designed to silence, hurt, and erase trans individuals in Florida,” Kara Gross, the legislative director and senior coverage counsel of the ACLU in Florida, stated in a statement. “These payments instantly threaten transgender Floridians’ elementary human rights and security. The Florida Legislature’s insistence on concentrating on trans individuals is weird, pointless, unconstitutional, and intensely harmful.”

Whereas the newest language of SB 254 no longer includes the horrific provision that may have allowed Florida courts to switch out-of-state custody agreements, permitting unsupportive mother and father to maneuver their kids to Florida to stop them from accessing gender-affirming well being care, it nonetheless contains the “trans kidnapping” provision that may give courts emergency jurisdiction to take away trans kids from their households as a result of they’re receiving gender-affirming care.

“I can’t consider I’m penning this,” said former Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith. “Dad and mom can be charged with felonies [and] thrown in jail. That is fascist.”

The laws would also prohibit using state funds for gender-affirming care, prohibit gender-affirming take care of trans youth, and direct the state Board of Drugs to undertake emergency guidelines concerning trans youth who’re already receiving gender-affirming care. Any well being care practitioner who gives trans youngsters with gender-affirming care can be responsible of a felony underneath the laws.

Florida Sen. Lori Berman (D) condemned Republican assaults on bodily autonomy and trans well being care in a remark earlier than the chamber voted to go the laws.

“I might say free states don’t ban well being care,” Berman said. “This invoice is incorrect on the best way it assaults transgender adults, incorrect on the best way it assaults mother and father’ rights to boost their kids, and incorrect on the way it places medical professionals in danger.”

In March, the Florida Board of Drugs enacted a rule that banned gender-affirming take care of transgender youth who had not but began puberty blockers or hormone remedy, making it the eighth state to limit gender-affirming take care of trans youth. Beneath the rule, well being care practitioners may have complaints filed towards them; if discovered to be in violation of the rule, practitioners may face fines, suspension of their licenses, and different penalties. The rule is currently being contested by the Southern Authorized Counsel and nationwide advocacy teams in court docket. SB 254 would circumvent this lawsuit by legislating the gender-affirming well being care ban for trans youth into legislation.

“This legislation will trigger huge upheaval in medical take care of the transgender group and trigger speedy hurt to 1000’s of Floridians of all ages who will lose entry to lifesaving medical care,” the ACLU said in a statement.

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