Republican lawmakers in Florida have proposed a terrifying bill that would remove trans youth from their affirming homes.
Over the last year-and-a-half, the state’s conservative lawmakers and its Republican governor Ron DeSantis have targeted the trans community with harmful legislation and rhetoric.
Back in February, the state’s Board of Medicine banned trans youth from participating in clinical trials administering gender-affirming care (per Tampa Bay Times).
That same month, legislators introduced a bill that would ban teachers from using the preferred names and pronouns of trans+ students.
Now, Republican lawmakers are targeting the supportive and affirming parents of trans youth.
On 3 March, GOP legislator Clay Yarborough introduced the alarming Senate Bill 254.
Under the bill, the state would be granted “emergency” custody of children who are “at risk of” or have undergone gender-affirming medical care.
These harmful regulations would also allow the state to take temporary custody of children who have a trans parent or sibling and are “at risk of being subjected to the provision of sex reassignment prescriptions or procedures.”
Lastly, SB254 would grant the state “jurisdiction to vacate, stay, or modify a child custody determination of a court of another state” – which would empower anti-trans family members to remove children from supportive homes and bring them to Florida.
The bill goes even further to violate interstate comity by authorizing the courts to vacate child custody determinations of other courts only if the child is trans. This is a greenlight to transphobic family members to engage in state sponsored kidnapping. pic.twitter.com/dpAbqTipre
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) March 3, 2023
Shortly after the bill was introduced, LGBTQ+ activists and political figures slammed the GOP lawmakers for the legislation.
Florida’s first Latino LGBTQ+ House representative Carlos Guillermo Smith wrote on Twitter: “I can’t believe I’m writing this. A new FL bill will tell courts to SEIZE TRANS CHILDREN AWAY from their supportive parents if those parents provide or are “at risk” of providing them life-saving care.
“Parents would be charged with felonies and thrown in prison. This is fascist.”
Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic clinical instructor Alejandro Caraballo echoed similar sentiments before stating that the bill greenlights “state-sponsored kidnapping.”
“A transphobic parent could kidnap their trans child in violation of custody agreements and abscond to Florida and be protected by Florida law under this despite likely committing felony kidnapping in their home state,” Caraballo tweeted.
“The bill goes even further to ban all public funding for gender-affirming care, including for adults. This would mean state and local employees and their families would be barred from coverage for gender affirming care.
“This is a full on war against trans people in the state of Florida. This is a full elimination of recognition and a limitation on access to care for all trans people, including adults.”
Senate Bill 254 wasn’t the only anti-trans bill to be introduced to the Florida State Senate on 3 March.
Republican lawmakers also proposed one bill that restricts trans people’s bathroom access and another bill making it illegal for doctors to give gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Aside from Florida, at least 38 states have proposed legislation targeting the trans community.