'Carte blanche to kidnap': Florida Republicans advancing extreme 'Don't Say They' anti-trans bills

'Carte blanche to kidnap': Florida Republicans advancing extreme 'Don't Say They' anti-trans bills
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Florida Republican officials are ramping up their proposals of anti-transgender laws, Orlando Sentinel reports.

The proposed bills, according to Orlando Sentinel, are specifically "aimed at preventing transgender children from transitioning," as and one piece of legislation would even "allow the state to take a child away from a parent even 'at risk' of doing so."

This comes as right wing host Michael Knowles called for the eradication of transgender people during his 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speech.

READ MORE: Arkansas Republican asks trans woman about her genitals during hearing on anti-trans bill

Orlando Sentinel reports Knowles' colleague, Matt Walsh, "said earlier this year he'd 'rather be dead' than have one of his children be transgender."

LGBTQ activists have deemed GOP Rep. Adam Anderson's bill as "Don't Say They" — a play on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' "Don't Say Gay" legislation — "because it would prohibit public school students from using pronouns that don’t correspond to their birth gender."

NPR reports:

With the encouragement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state's Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine both passed rules that will ban gender-affirming care such as pubertyblockers and cross-sex hormones, as well as surgical procedures, for new patients under age 18.

READ MORE: Daily Wire host: 'There can’t be a genocide' of trans people because it’s 'not a legitimate category of being'

State Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough's legislation, according to Orlando Sentinel, "would prohibit any school employee from asking anyone about their preferred pronouns," and ban "instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in private pre-schools and public grade schools until the ninth grade."

State GOP Congressman Randy Fine proposed several bills, including one set to perpetuate the "targeting of drag shows by threatening to 'fine, suspend, or revoke the license' of any business that admits a child to an 'adult live performance,'" and another, which would "ban any puberty-blocking hormones and gender-affirming care for transgender minors."

Another Yarborough-sponsored bill takes Fine's legislation a step further, by threatening to charge anyone who offers transitioning treatment "to minors" with a third-degree felony. Not only that, but it would also "grant the state emergency jurisdiction over a child present in the state, even if he or she lives in another state."

However, Director of the South Florida-based nonprofit TransSOCIAL, Ashley Mayfaire, said, "the bill's language doesn’t specify who would have the right to take control of a child for that purpose."

READ MORE: How far-right activists secretly devised a brutal 'anti-trans' attack plan: report

She noted, "It could be grandparents or parents that don't have custody rights [given] carte blanche to kidnap. It's really a horrible way to frame transition care as a form of child abuse."

Regarding these potential advancement of these types of bills, Liz Bostock, a 13-year-old Florida resident who "identifies as female and transgender," told NPR, "If it gets too bad, I'm also already thinking about for high school going to a boarding school that isn't in Florida," she said, "which would honestly make things a lot easier."

Mayfaire mentioned "not everyone has the means to just go." She noted, “There's definitely socio-economic barriers. But it's very similar to what they're doing with the abortion bans. It's removing options for folks so they have to face tremendous barriers to get the care that they need medically. They're creating ... refugees in their own states."

Brandon Wolf, spokesman for LGBTQ advocacy group, Equality Florida, told Orlando Sentinel, "At its core, it is a reductive worldview that sees people as nothing more than their reproductive organs. And I've never seen a group of people more obsessed with what genitals other people have than the right wing."

READ MORE: 'Full elimination of recognition': Parents could legally kidnap trans kids under proposed Florida bill

The Orlando Sentinel's full report is available at this link (subscription required). NPR's full report is here.

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