Ron DeSantis highlighted the efforts of Republican governors and stateshouses across the nation to embrace proposals that limit the rights for transgender individuals, signing new limitations as he moves towards a presidential run.
Medical groups and advocates have criticized the restrictions for marginalizing transgender children and endangering their health.
Here's what's happening:
DeSantis signed on Wednesday bills that prohibit gender affirming care in schools, restrict the use of pronouns in schools, and in some cases force people to use bathrooms corresponding to their assigned sex at birth.
DeSantis signed new restrictions for drag shows, which would allow the state revoke food and beverage permits of businesses who admit children to adult performances. DeSantis' administration is pulling the liquor licenses from businesses that hold drag shows. Allegedly, children were present at lewd displays.
These rules also prohibit the use of public money to pay for care, and impose new restrictions on adult patients seeking treatment. The restrictions on drag shows and the bathroom rules are also in effect immediately. The restrictions on pronouns and bathrooms come into effect July 1, 2019.
DeSantis is a vocal advocate of such restrictions and has championed Florida legislation that limits the teachings about sexual orientation and gender identities in public schools. Florida has extended this prohibition, which critics call the 'Don’t Say Gay' Law, to all grades.
BANKS APPLIED NATIONALLY
This year, hundreds of bills were proposed restricting transgender rights. LGBTQ+ advocates claim that they have seen a record-breaking number of these measures in statehouses.
At least 17 state laws have been passed restricting or prohibiting gender-affirming child care for minors. These include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Alabama and Arkansas have had their laws blocked by federal judges, and other states are drafting bills to ban or restrict care. Texas and Missouri governors have also proposed bans.
The bans are spreading quickly. Only three states had passed such laws prior to this year.
Florida was among the two states to have restricted care through administrative or regulatory action before DeSantis' latest ban. Texas's Governor has ordered child welfare officials in Texas to investigate reports that children are receiving this type of care. However, a court has blocked these investigations.
The lawsuit filed by three transgender children and their parents to stop Florida's ban on care for minors was expanded on Wednesday to include DeSantis' new law.
The American Medical Association and every other major medical association have opposed the bans, but supported medical care for children when it is administered properly. In several states, where the bans were enacted in this year, lawsuits have already been filed.
STATES POSITED TO Act
The Republican Governor is currently considering a proposal to ban gender affirming child care. Mike Parson is the Missouri Governor. Andrew Bailey, the Republican Attorney General of Missouri, retracted a rule that he proposed this week. The rule would have restricted access to adult care.
Bailey cited a bill that was pending in front of Parson for the reason to eliminate the rule. A state judge had blocked the rule.
Nebraska Republicans on Monday merged a 12-week ban on abortion into a bill which would ban gender affirming treatment for minors. This could pave the way for the final vote to be held on this combined measure by the end of the week.
Some Democrat-led state are enacting laws to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ teens.
Michigan Democrats are planning to introduce legislation on Thursday to ban conversion therapy, which is a practice that tries to convert people into heterosexuality.
With Democrats controlling all levels of the state government, it is expected that the legislation will move quickly. The Associated Press reported that Democratic state Rep. Jason Hoskins is a sponsor of this bill and hopes it passes before the end of June. This month is Pride Month.
This report was written by Associated Press journalists Brendan Farrington, in Tallahassee (Florida), Margery Beck, in Lincoln (Nebraska), Margaret Stafford, in Kansas City (Missouri), and Joey Cappelletti, in Lansing, Michigan.