The Florida Congress is in discussions to pass a bill that would prohibit medical centers from providing hormone treatments or sex change surgeries for children.
The proposed SB 254 was introduced by State Senator Clay Yarborough. It seeks to "protect the child from the risk of being subjected to the provision of sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures."
Penalties for violating the law would involve a fine of around $5,000 and up to five years in prison. Jail time would be increased to 10 years if the perpetrator committed prior felonies.
Other bills introduced in the state legislature aim to prohibit teaching sexual orientation and gender identity from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in public schools and also prevent facilities from allowing children to attend adult performances or events that feature nudity, sexual conduct or lewd exposure, such as drag shows.
"You are erasing our trans babies"
The introduction of the bill has provoked constant accusations against the administration of Governor Ron DeSantis. Some Democratic lawmakers support allowing minors to undergo sex change treatments. Other opponents claim that if the rule is passed, trans children will be "vilified."
At a protest held this week at the Florida Capitol, Democratic Representative Anna Eskamani declared during a speech that the Republican Party is "erasing our trans babies."
Literally no one ever:
Florida Democrats: “You are erasing our trans babies!” pic.twitter.com/15XgvKz4s0
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) March 15, 2023
These protests took place as the Florida Senate Health Policy Committee debated the implementation of the rule.
Biden criticizes Florida's proposal
Florida Democrats are not alone in opposing the measure. Recently, President Joe Biden called the proposed law shameful and cruel in an interview on The Daily Show:
What's going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful. I mean, it's just terrible what they're doing. It's not like a kid wakes up one morning and says, "You know, I decided I want to become a man or want to become a woman or want to change." ... They are human beings. They love, they have feelings. They have inclinations... It's cruel.
President Biden criticized anti-trans legislation as “just cruel,” singling out recent developments in Florida in particular as “close to sinful” and suggesting that the federal government needs to legislate to protect trans rights nationally. https://t.co/SEsSnMFiTa pic.twitter.com/CzQLVYfcSX
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 14, 2023
DeSantis responds to Biden by showing a video of the mutilations
DeSantis responded to President Biden's criticism with a graphic display of the side effects that can come with performing these procedures and surgeries.
🚨 GRAPHIC WARNING 🚨
Biden thinks it’s “cruel” that Florida is NOT allowing experimental sex change operations for kids. pic.twitter.com/4u8xxWPmtX
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) March 14, 2023
"It is not 'sinful' to prohibit the mutilation of minors," the governor said in a tweet ."It is not acceptable for the federal government to mandate that procedures like sex change operations for children be allowed for kids," he concluded.
It is not "sinful" to prohibit the mutilation of minors.
It is not acceptable for the federal government to mandate that procedures like sex change operations be allowed for kids. https://t.co/YhPrrU5Poi
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 14, 2023