House Bill 1223 seeks to restrict the use of pronouns in Florida’s schools.
The bill reads, “It shall be the policy of every K-12 education institution … that a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex.”
With sex being defined as “the binary division of individuals based upon reproductive functions,” students and employees will be banned from referring to a person by their preferred pronouns if they don’t align with the person’s sex.
Rep. Randy Fine, a Brevard County Republican, says that the state of Florida follows a science and stands up for parental rights and that this bill will do both.
“Florida is not going to be in the stupid pick-your-own pronouns fantasy that the woke left wants to waste our time with,” Fine said Fine. “… we’re going to keep gender identity and sexual orientation discussions all the way out of middle school. These are not discussions that young children should be having.”
Brianna Davis, a fourth-year engineering student at Florida A&M University, says that we’re going backward.
“I don’t expect everyone to understand completely but it’s 2023, you don’t have to understand it to respect it,” Davis said.
Last year, the Parental Rights in Education bill that was approved and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis restricted classroom instruction on gender identity and sexuality in kindergarten through third grade. It also said that after the third grade the instruction would be deemed appropriate. Under this proposed bill, the restrictions would expand to the eighth grade. It would also include these same restrictions for Pre-K and recommend that this instruction be reviewed for high schools.
Equality Florida Action director, Jon Harris Maure criticized the bill for “fake moral panic.”
“Don’t say LGBTQ policies have already resulted in sweeping censorship, book banning, rainbow Safe Space stickers being peeled from classroom windows, districts refusing to recognize LGBTQ History Month, and LGBTQ families preparing to leave the state altogether,” Maurer said. “This legislation is about a fake moral panic, cooked up by Gov. DeSantis to demonize LGBTQ people for his own political career.”
Davis agrees with this statement and says that DeSantis has his own motives in mind when implementing these laws.
“It’s unfortunate to see many representatives back DeSantis when he truly has his own motives in mind,” Davis said. “I feel for all of the LGBTQ in Florida, especially in times like these.”