TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) says he plans to introduce a bill that would make it a felony to perform gender reassignment surgery on a minor.
The bill would also make it illegal to provide the drugs for the procedure to a child.
The proposed bill follows a similar pattern already seen in other states.
Earlier this year, Texas Governor Greg Abbot ordered state authorities to investigate gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth as “child abuse.”
Now, Rep. Fine says he wants to take Florida in a similar direction.
“I want to protect children from making decisions about their bodies that can’t be undone,” Rep. Fine said. “Whether it’s pushing off puberty, or surgery that cannot be undone.”
Fine says he’ll either file a bill or help push one through that bans anyone under the age of 18 from medically transitioning with drugs or through gender affirmation surgery.
“The purpose of childhood is to maintain your innocence and not make mistakes that you can’t undo,” Rep. Fine said. “If someone wants to mutilate themselves when they are an adult, have at it, but we should be protecting children from decisions they can’t undo.”
While Fine says the proposal is about protecting kids, University of Central Florida Political Science Professor Doctor John Hanley suggests Republicans- who hold near super-majorities in Tallahassee- may be seeing something in the electorate.
“I imagine that they are seeing some polling that suggests some of these issues- like gender reassignment surgery, or teaching about sexuality in schools- that the public is with them, at least in the state,” Hanley said.
There is no actual bill yet, as the period for filing bills for the next session hasn’t opened. Fine says his plan wouldn’t ban therapy or counseling, just the physical changes.
LGBTQ advocacy groups say bills like the one Fine proposes will not help kids, but only hurt those who are already marginalized.
©2022 Cox Media Group