TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – LGBTQ+ activists rallied in the State Capitol Thursday morning, touting their legislative priorities for 2022.
This year activists want to undo the transgender-athlete ban and provide more gender identity options on driver’s licenses.
During the rally, transgender activists said their community is “under attack.”
Activists have their crosshairs set on repealing the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Passed last year, it bars transgender women from competing in sports intended solely for biological female athletes.
“You have just as much right to run onto a field or a court as any other girl in this state,” said State Senator Gary Farmer.
Activists are also backing a bill that would provide an option to choose non-binary, which means you neither identify as male or female, as your gender on your driver’s license.
“A gender-neutral ID allows them to display a more accurate gender marker on their ID,” said sponsor Representative Kristen Arrington.
Transgender activists are also fighting against a bill they describe as the most radical yet. It would prohibit children from recovering gender-affirming medical care.
That includes the use of puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and gender reaffirming surgeries.
“Access to hormone replacement therapy is a matter of life and death,” said Chloe Illcus with the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed support for legislation banning gender reaffirming surges for children.
However, the legislation was filed this year by one of the most outspoken Republicans in the Legislature, who has often found himself in conflict with legislative leadership.
But the odds are likely also stacked against the passage of either bill supported by the trans-community.
Sponsor of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, Senator Kelli Stargel, said her view on transgender athletes competing on biological women’s sports teams hasn’t changed.
“Women should be playing women’s sports with their muscular make up and not be playing against men, biological men,” said Stargel.
The transgender activists said they believe Republicans’ actions on transgender athletes will backfire in the 2022 election.
Only time will tell whether the issue will translate to a Democratic edge at the ballot box.