State Rep. Dean Black of Jacksonville.State Rep. Dean Black of Jacksonville.
State Rep. Dean Black of Jacksonville.

LGBTQ group fights bills from Jacksonville rep

Published on January 17, 2024 at 9:33 am

An organization that advocates for LGBTQ Floridians on Tuesday decried what it calls “an alarming slate” of bills filed for the 2024 legislative session, including proposals from Republican Rep. Dean Black of Jacksonville.

Joe Saunders, senior political director for Equality Florida, said the organization is opposing 22 bills that it says “attack the freedoms, the rights and dignity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Floridians.”

Jacksonville Today thanks our sponsors. Become one.

For example, Equality Florida is opposing two identical bills (HB 599 and SB 1382) that, in part, would place restrictions on the use of personal pronouns in government agencies.

Under the bills, state and local government agencies would be barred from requiring employees and contractors to refer to other people “using that person’s preferred personal title or pronouns if such personal title or pronouns do not correspond to that person’s sex” as determined at birth.

Equality Florida also is opposing two House bills that the organization dubbed “trans-erasure” bills. One of the bills (HB 1233), sponsored by Black, would prevent the state from issuing driver’s licenses or identification cards that list “a person’s sex as different from that specified on the person’s original certificate of live birth.”

Article continues below

Jacksonville Today thanks our sponsors. Become one.

The other bill (HB 1639), co-sponsored by Black, would require health insurance policies that cover “sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures” to also cover “treatment to detransition from the sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures.”

In recent years, issues related to gender identity have been among the highest-profile political battles in the Capitol. “Floridians are fed up with government intrusion into our private lives,” Saunders, a former state House member, said during a news conference at the Capitol.

The 60-day legislative session started last week.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.