Last week in LGBTQ+ rights: Judge lets Florida enforce gender-affirming care restrictions
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized the NAACP’s travel advisory for LGBTQ+ people and minorities, and two California school boards voted to ban pride flags.
This series is a weekly roundup of LGBTQ-related news, covering various laws and bans, as well as efforts to push back against them.
Florida gender-affirming care restrictions now enforceable
A federal judge denied a motion to block Florida’s restrictions on gender-affirming care for adults from going into effect, making the state’s law now enforceable.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle had previously blocked the portion of the state’s law banning gender-affirming care for minors but ruled on Sept. 12 to allow the law’s restrictions for adults to stand.
The law mandates that trans adults may only receive gender-affirming care if they sign a consent form with a doctor present and then receive treatment from that doctor. The form is approved by the Florida Board of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, members of which are appointed by DeSantis to four-year terms.
While Hinkle wrote, “Gender identity is real” in his ruling allowing minors to continue receiving gender-affirming care in Florida, he held in his latest ruling that adults haven’t proven the law will subject them to irreparable harm while the case plays out.
DeSantis criticizes NAACP’s Florida travel advisory for minorities, LGBTQ+ people
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attacked a travel advisory the NAACP issued in May that calls Florida unsafe for minorities and LGBTQ+ people.
In an interview with CBS Evening News on Sept. 13, DeSantis called the advisory “a stunt that they’re playing.”
The advisory states: “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”
When anchor Norah O’Donnell pointed out that many LGBTQ+ people and people of color feel threatened by policies that DeSantis has instituted, the governor blamed “narratives that are put out by media.”
But policies such as Florida’s prohibition on discussion of gender or sexual identity in schools and its restrictions on gender-affirming care for both minors and adults are doing real harm.
A survey released in August by the Human Rights Campaign showed four in 10 transgender Florida residents are considering leaving the state.
California school districts restrict LGBTQ+ pride flags
Two California school boards voted Sept. 12 to bar LGBTQ+ pride flags from school grounds.
In Northern California, the board of the Sunol Glen Unified School District voted 2-1 to ban pride flags from its lone elementary school.
In Southern California, the board of the Temecula Valley Unified School District voted 3-2 to allow only U.S., California and military flags on campuses, in a move that many in the community saw as aimed at pride flags.
“It has become clear with a little analysis that their real focus is to ban the rainbow flag,” Jay Blotcher, co-founder of the LGBTQ+ rights organization the Gilbert Baker Foundation, told USA Today. “They’re willing to put a ban on other flags in their zeal to ban the rainbow flag.”
The two bans come after weeks of California school board votes on policies requiring educators to out trans students to their parents.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez blocked a southern California school district’s policy requiring staff to keep trans and gender non-conforming students’ identities private, calling it “medically unwise” and a violation of parents’ rights.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
Assemblywoman-elect Luanne Peterpaul will be first out lesbian in New Jersey Legislature
In January, Luanne Peterpaul will be the first out gay woman to become a New Jersey legislator, a move toward increasing LGBTQ representation in Trenton at a time when the queer community feels increasingly under attack in statehouses nationwide.By Sophie Nieto-Muñoz - November 20, 2023
House Speaker Mike Johnson has long opposed abortion and LGBTQ+ rights
Before the newly elected U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson was in public office, the Louisiana Republican’s restrictive stances on gender identity, abortion and sexuality were honed at the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, where he served as a senior spokesperson and attorney. Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, is the legal force behind dozens […]By Amanda Becker, The 19th - November 02, 2023
Philadelphia mayor signs executive order protecting access to gender-affirming care
Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney said the order is in response to the wave of legislation attacking transgender rights across the country.By Will Fritz - October 19, 2023