Media Contact

CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

May 18, 2023

New laws include an expansion to last year’s harmful “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” law, an anti-trans bathroom ban, and an extreme gender-affirming care ban

MIAMI, FL – Yesterday, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1069 (HB 1069) into law, which would censor classroom discussions about sexual orientation or gender identity through 8th grade, significantly expand book bans, and infringe on parents' rights to ensure their transgender student's pronouns are respected.

He also signed Senate Bill 254 (SB 254) into law, which will drastically threaten the lives of trans children in Florida and criminalize healthcare providers who provide medically safe gender-affirming health care.

House Bill 1521 (HB 1521) was also signed into law, which will prohibit gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities in government buildings and correctional institutions. The law will threaten transgender Floridians’ fundamental human rights and safety.

Tiffani Lennon, ACLU of Florida’s executive director responded with the following:

“All Florida students and families deserve to be protected, respected, and embraced, and these laws do just the opposite. Despite this administration’s rhetoric to the contrary, this is about a curtailment of fundamental liberties and state government overreach into our schools, families and health care. These laws do nothing to protect liberty and freedoms. The only 'winners' are those who want to see a bigger, more invasive government. This law will deprive educators and students the opportunity to discuss the impact of pivotal LGBTQ+ figures throughout history and in the present day until the 9th grade. It will censor teaching on the lives of queer figures like Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Pauli Murray, Marsha P. Johnson, and the countless other LGBTQ+ figures who put their lives on the line for a more open and inclusive society.

“Make no mistake: The First Amendment protects the right to learn and share ideas. But the legislature has tried everything in its power to diminish and stigmatize Florida’s LGBTQ+ community and chill free speech in classrooms. By signing this bill into law, the Governor continues his assault on our First Amendment rights. This is a clear example of dangerous governmental overreach and a threat to our democracy.

“Yet the extreme government overreach does not just stop there. By also signing SB 254 into law, parents will not be able to direct the health care of their minor children and doctors will be criminalized for providing gender-affirming care to trans youth. It also imposes onerous and unnecessary conditions on gender-affirming care for adults, such as requiring doctors to follow confusing written consent procedures, excluding nurse practitioners from providing this care and limiting the ability of physicians to provide this care through remote telehealth appointments. SB 254 will drastically change how thousands of trans Floridians receive their necessary healthcare. It is a gross intrusion into private medical decisions and it will inflict harm on individuals experiencing gender dysphoria and prevent them from accessing the health care they need.

“In signing HB 1521, the anti-trans bathroom law, the state has added additional obstacles for transgender people to go about their daily lives like other people—and it opens the door to abuse, mistreatment, and more. This is quite literally state-sanctioned discrimination.

“While this is a shameful day for Florida, LGBTQ+ people cannot be erased and they will not be silenced, despite DeSantis’ efforts to push such a hateful and harmful agenda. We stand with LGBTQ+ communities and their right to live openly and be treated fairly in this state.”