TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — The Gender Clinical Interventions bill resulted in high tensions and fierce debate in the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee Wednesday afternoon.
HB 1421, sponsored by Reps. Randy Fine (R-Brevard) and Ralph Massullo (R-Lecanto) would make it a third degree felony for a doctor to perform gender reassignment surgeries on minors or to prescribe them hormones. It would require that any and all transgender therapies on minors be stopped by the end of the year.
“Our primary role as lawmakers is to protect our citizens,” Rep. Massullo stated. “The number of minors with gender dysphoria has tripled; we don’t see that in just about any other field of medicine. In medical care we are to do no harm, and these procedures and treatments do much more harm than good. For us to continue those would be disgraceful.”
“WE ALLOWED IDEOLOGY TO MASQUERADE AS MEDICINE”
Many voiced their agreement, with Rep. Dean Black (R-Jacksonville) applauding the bill: “Thank you for recognizing an essential truth: these children are actually victims, once called patients, because we allowed ideology to masquerade as medicine.” He referenced a speaker who detransitioned as a teenager.
Several religious groups came forward in support, including the Christian Family Coalition of Florida. “All of you who are supporting this bill are heroes,” Executive Director Anthony Verdugo stated.
“We know what happens when children are submitted to genital mutilation: depression, anxiety, and suicide.”
“THESE ARE DECISIONS GOVERNMENT DOES NOT BELONG IN”
Numerous others were staunchly opposed to the bill, stating that the the removal of gender intervention procedures would be what causes suicide: “I hope you sleep well knowing you’re killing kids!” one protester cried out.
“By forcing them to detransition, you will kill them. I am telling you right now – you will kill them if you pass this bill,” stated another, referring to the legislation’s requirement that any child who began hormone therapy before 2023 must stop all hormone and gender reassignment therapies by 2024.
Rep. Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) rounded out the opposition, saying: “I don’t know why all my conservative friends want to get in everybody’s business. I thought we were about less government, fewer taxes. Apparently that script has flipped.”
She continued: “We want to tell everyone what they can and can’t do, and who they can and cannot love, and how to plan for families, and what books to read, and what classes to take. We’re going to criminalize doctors for doing the care that they’ve been trained to give. These are decisions that government doesn’t belong in.” Rep. Skidmore referred to a series of contentious bills this session.
“THIS IS NOT CARE; THIS IS AN ABOMINATION”
Rep. Fine countered: “I don’t think the folks who speak in opposition of this bill are villains. I think they’re victims.”
“We’re dealing with the weaponization of the word ‘care’. It is not healthcare to cut someone’s body parts off. It is not care to give someone drugs to stop the natural process of puberty. This is not care; this is an abomination,” Fine said.
HB 1421 saw a favorable passing, as did its companion bill SB 254 last week. It now moves to the Health and Human Services Committee.