TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — A new bathroom ban bill animated the Florida House with bitter insults flying from all sides Monday afternoon, following a sleepily extensive Easter break.
Sponsored by Rep. Rachel Plakon (R-Seminole), HB 1521 creates the “Safety in Private Spaces Act” – enforcing strict restroom regulations based on sex at birth. Under this bill, an adult who refuses to leave a restroom or changing facility designated for the opposite sex would be subject to a second-degree misdemeanor.
“This ensures the safety of all Floridians by requiring the use of common decency standards in all private spaces,” Plaken said. “This is a simple, common sense bill.”
“EUGENICS” AND “TRANSGENOCIDE”
Not all agreed with Plaken’s sentiments, demonstrated by a slew of oppositional testimony:
“You don’t know what it is to be trans or non-binary, and like your Führer, you fear what you don’t understand,” a member of the Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida group stated.
“This bill is nothing more than the extension of mass-genocidal bills that are being pushed forth for the benefit of Ron DeSantis’ 2024 campaign. This is genocide, this is eugenics, and you should be ashamed.”
Others echoed her statements: “Do you know how amazing it is to see trans people who are older than me?” one trans man said. “I don’t get to see that often, because of the ‘transgenocide’ that is going on with the over 490 bills that are being presented.”
The Democratic members of the House similarly disagreed with the legislation, citing issues with vague language and potential hindrances for law enforcement.
“I don’t like laws that we more than likely can’t enforce,” Rep. Christopher Benjamin of Miami stated, referencing the logistical obstacle of how police would determine the offender’s sex. “The fact that this law isn’t policed will be difficult to prosecute. It will be difficult for a police officer to even investigate its violation.”
“MUTANTS,” “DEMONS” AND “IMPS”
Meanwhile, Rep. Webster Barnaby (R-Volusia) expressed his resounding disapproval of HB 1521’s opponents, stating:
“I’m looking at society today and it’s like I’m watching an X-Men movie. It’s like we have mutants living among us on planet Earth. This is the planet Earth! Where God created men, male, and women, female!”
He continued: “I’m not afraid to address the dysphoria or the dysfunction: The Lord rebuke you, Satan! And all of your demons and all of your imps, who come and parade before us. That’s right, I called you demons and imps, who come and parade before us, and pretend you are part of this world.”
The legislation passed down party lines, and will advance to the House floor. In conjunction with its companion bill SB 1674, the legislation appears to have a good chance of winning a spot on the governor’s desk.