DeSantis signs bill banning gender surgeries, treatments for minors

(The Center Square) – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills into law on Wednesday that will ban what advocates call gender-affirming care for those under the age of 18 and an expansion of the Parental…

(The Center Square) – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills into law on Wednesday that will ban what advocates call gender-affirming care for those under the age of 18 and an expansion of the Parental Rights Education Act.

The second-term Republican governor also signed measures that ban minors from drag shows and prevent men from entering female-only spaces such as locker rooms.

“Florida is proud to lead the way in standing up for our children. As the world goes mad, Florida represents a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy,” DeSantis said in Tampa at a news conference, adding that it is important to stand up for the youth of today.

DeSantis noted that there are some doctors who are allowing the mutilation of children through medical castration and gender reassignment surgeries and pointed out that other countries around the globe have tried similar policies, but have since realized that it was the wrong thing to do.

Senate Bill 254 sponsored by Sen. Clay Yarborough, R- Jacksonville, prohibits treatments for sex reassignment and grants the courts of Florida the authority to take temporary emergency jurisdiction over a child that has been threatened or subjected to sex reassignment medications or procedures. Physicians who are caught prescribing medications and/or performing sex reassignment procedures, or conspiring to do so on those under the age of 18, can have their practice license immediately suspended. The bill also makes way for civil action from victims of forced sex reassignment surgeries and medications.

House Bill 1069 by Rep. Stan McClain, R-Ocala, is an expansion of the Parental Rights in Education Act, better known by its opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” and prevents teachers and students from having to be forced to declare their pronouns, and protects them from being forced to use someone else’s preferred pronouns. Sexual ideology has been banned from being taught in schools from pre-K through 8th grade, and DeSantis noted it is important that parents be the people who teach their children about sexuality, not in the classroom.

HB 1438 sponsored by Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, bans drag shows from having minors involved in them, and establishments that allow minors into adult performances will face heavy penalties, including having its operating license revoked.

HB 1521 authored by Rep. Rachel Plakon, R-Longwood, ensures the safety of women and girls, and prevents biological men from entering female locker rooms, bathrooms and other female-only facilities. This includes correctional facilities, juvenile facilities and detention centers in Florida.

HB 225 sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Canaday, R-Lakeland, allows homeschooled, private school and virtual school students to participate in sports and activities at public schools and allows prayers before sporting events. The bill also reorganizes the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors and consists of 13 members, four of which will be elected by school representative members, and the other eight will be appointed by the governor. The Commissioner of Education or his designee will be the final member.

Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. thanked DeSantis for being focused on education and not indoctrination.

“Today’s actions make it clear — educators in Florida are expected to teach our standards, and not interject their own opinions or worldview into the classroom. The Department will remain focused on teaching students core subjects, rather than woke gender ideology or inappropriate topics,” Diaz said.