TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the House Commerce Committee voted to pass House Bill 1521 (HB 1521). This bill would perpetuate discrimination and exclusion of transgender Floridians. It prohibits gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities in private businesses, healthcare facilities, schools, public shelters, and jails. This bill threatens transgender Floridians’ fundamental human rights and safety.
The ACLU of Florida opposes this bill, and its companion bill Senate Bill 1674 (SB 1674).
Kirk Bailey, political director of ACLU of Florida, responded to the vote:
“These kinds of bills make it impossible for transgender people to go about their daily lives like other people—and it opens the door to abuse, mistreatment, and more.
“Let’s be clear: This is state-sanctioned discrimination.
“The Florida Legislature’s obsession with targeting trans people is bizarre, unnecessary, unconstitutional, and extremely dangerous. Nondiscrimination laws have been successfully implemented in over 400 cities and 21 states to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination and allow transgender people to use restrooms that align with their gender identity.
“HB 1521 and SB 1674 would open the door to hostile individuals demanding that anyone that they subjectively perceive as possibly not being ‘male’ or ‘female’ enough prove their gender. Under this bill, anyone whose appearance doesn't meet a stranger's expectations can be questioned about private areas of their bodies.
“There is no good way for businesses to enforce these laws without invading everyone’s privacy. In addition to harming transgender and nonbinary adults, youth, and visitors throughout the state, this bill will harm and embarrass many other individuals who will be harassed because of their perceived gender presentation.
“No one should have their privacy invaded for simply going about their daily activities.
“Florida legislators need to focus on actual problems facing Floridians – affordable housing, income security, minimum wage, and health care. Instead, they seek to hide their failure to address these real problems by focusing on non-issues.”