TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate is on the brink of passing an education measure that would prohibit instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades, as protesters flocked to the Capitol to decry what critics have labeled the “don’t say gay” bill.

Child Sex Change Treatments Are A Hill Some LGBT Activists Are Willing To Die On

Laurel Duggan 

On March 7th, Florida Senate Democrats organized a protest against the Parental Rights In Education Law that bars teaching children about sexuality and gender identity prior to the bill being signed by Governor DeSantis.

“Gay! Gay! Gay! My daughter’s gay,” three women could be seen singing to the tune of “Smoke On The Water” in a video shared by Florida Senate Democrats on Twitter.

On Friday in Alabama, LGBT advocacy groups slammed a law signed that criminalizes administering medical sex-change treatments to children.

The legislation, which was signed by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey late Friday, bans medical sex change interventions for children ranging from puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to mastectomies, castration, vasectomies, hysterectomies, and cosmetic genital surgeries.

“Shame on the cruel, heartless, and power-hungry state legislators that want to take away life-saving medical care from transgender youth in Alabama,” Carl Charles, senior attorney for Lambda Legal, said in a statement. “We are ready to use the full force of the law to come down on this clearly unconstitutional legislation should it come to pass.”

Practitioners who violate the law could be charged with Class C felonies, which carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The law makes exceptions for medical interventions related to medically verifiable sex conditions such as chromosome irregularities.

“They have successfully criminalized critically important care that transgender youth need desperately, and the incredible doctors and care providers who help transgender youth each and every day,” Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey, Alabama state director for Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Friday. “In doing so they have jeopardized the future of these doctors, families, and transgender youth who are all considering what their livelihoods will be in Alabama.”

“Alabama is voting on banning evidence-based, peer-reviewed, consensus healthcare. Every major medical association supports gender-affirming care as safe and lifesaving,” GLAAD wrote in a tweet Thursday after the legislature passed the bill.

Some of the activists who spoke out against the bill threatened legal action if Ivey signs it.

“Alabama just passed a bill that criminalizes providing gender-affirming care to trans youth. This is the first piece of legislation nationwide that would make this care a felony,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote on Twitter. “If this bill is signed, we will sue.”

An attorney from the ACLU of Alabama called the legislation “shameful,” according to a press release.

One activist said the bill targeted transgender people and repeatedly said it would be deadly for transgender children.

“If passed and signed into law, Alabama will have the most deadly, sweeping, and hostile law targeting transgender people in the country,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice at the LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in a statement. “Moving forward with this bill will be deadly for trans youth, push doctors out of a state that has a shortage of medical providers, hurt Alabama’s economy, and subject the state to costly litigation.”

The Trevor Project, a mental health organization focused on LGBT people claimed the legislation would “criminalize doctors for providing best-practice, gender-affirming care to transgender and nonbinary youth,” according to a press release. The organization also touted statistics demonstrating the high risk of suicide among transgender youth.

“Lawmakers have added last minute votes to push the most extreme anti-transgender agenda we’ve seen to date – all within a matter of hours,” said Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project. “We urge Governor Ivey to reject this extreme package and put a stop to these policies before they threaten more lives.”

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