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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law a ban on medical care for transgender youth on Wednesday, making Florida the 15th state to establish such a ban and adding to DeSantis’ onslaught of legislation restricting LGBTQ+ rights.
The law puts a full ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender youth under 18 years old, and requires license suspension for any health care provider who provides such treatment.
It also requires transgender adults to obtain written consent from two oversight boards—the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine—whose members are appointed by the governor.
Under the new law, Florida courts are also given jurisdiction in child custody battles over transgender kids if a parent living in Florida opposes gender-affirming treatment being pursued by an out-of-state parent.
DeSantis, who is expected to make a bid for the 2024 presidential election, is a leading figure in a widespread Republican effort to roll back rights for LGBTQ people, particularly transgender people. He has championed Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act—dubbed by critics as “Don’t Say Gay”—which prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. In April, he expanded the legislation, which originally only covered kindergarten through third grade, to ban instruction for grades 4 through 12. Republicans in 14 other states have banned gender-affirming care for minors, with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) most recently passing legislation in April. Other states like Arkansas and Kentucky have also banned transgender students from using school bathrooms that match their gender identity.
“Even among the crowded field of extreme and damaging bans on best practice, age-appropriate health care, this bill stands out as particularly mean-spirited,” Human Rights Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based LGBTQ advocacy group said in a statement about the ban while it was in the Senate, adding it “is an extreme, unprecedented attack on transgender people, their health care, and the families and health care providers who care for them.”
Indiana Becomes 14th State To Ban Gender-Affirming Care—Despite GOP Governor’s Concerns About ‘Vagueness’ (Forbes)
Missouri Likely Next State To Restrict Gender-Affirming Care—Here Are All The States With Similar Bans Or Restrictions (Forbes)
Florida Expands ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Policy To Older Students At DeSantis’ Request (Forbes)