A protester marches with the trans and pride flag in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 28, 2020.
The Florida House on Wednesday is expected to pass three fiercely debated bills about transgender people, targeting drag shows, treatments such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers and bathroom use.
The Republican-controlled House took up the bills Tuesday and positioned them for votes after rejecting numerous changes proposed by Democrats.
Approval Wednesday would send one of the bills (SB 1438) to Gov. Ron DeSantis, as the measure has already been approved by the Senate.
That bill is aimed at preventing children from seeing drag shows, an issue that gained attention recently as the DeSantis administration took steps such as filing a complaint against the Hyatt Regency Miami hotel for hosting a “Drag Queen Christmas” event in December.
“Consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want,” House sponsor Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, told The News Service of Florida. “I don’t care, as long as I don’t have to pay for it. But keep it away from kids.”
But Democrats blasted the drag-show bill and the other measures.
“This is homophobia, transphobia day at the Capitol,” Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, told the News Service. “We have three bills that will target LGBTQ+ people for no reason but political motivation. It’s sad, as we have real issues to focus on.”
The House also is expected to pass a bill (SB 254) that would prevent doctors from providing treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transgender minors.
The Senate has passed the bill, but the House made changes Tuesday, which would require the measure to go back to the Senate for another vote.
The third bill (HB 1521) would prevent transgender men and women from using bathrooms that don’t line up with their sex assigned at birth. The issue has not gone before the full Senate.
Protesters opposed to the bills interrupted House debate Tuesday and also rallied against the measures outside the House chamber.