On Thursday, the Florida legislature passed a bill that forbids minors from undergoing sex-change surgery and other treatments such as puberty blockers.
As reported by Politico, SB 254 passed the State House by a margin of 83 to 28, and now heads to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) for his signature. The bill also bans public universities and government agencies that have access to Medicaid funding from using such funds to pay for so-called “transgender” treatments. The bill will also make it easier for patients to sue doctors who perform such treatments.
The version of the bill that ultimately passed was less strict than prior versions, including a draft that would have barred even private insurance companies from providing sex-change treatments to minors and adults alike. Older versions of the bill also would have prohibited changing the gender of one’s birth certificate.
There are currently over a dozen states that have passed such laws protecting minors from sex-change surgery and other procedures such as hormone therapy.
Other bills passed recently by the Florida legislature dealing with “transgenderism” include a ban on “preferred pronouns” mandates in public schools, as well as a bill that makes it a misdemeanor to enter a restroom that does not correspond with someone’s actual gender.
The numerous bills passed in recent weeks are seen by some as an effort to simply boost DeSantis’ political profile, amid speculation that he will seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024. Current polling for the primary has DeSantis trailing former President Donald Trump in a landslide.