Kathleen Passidomo says legislation barring trans identity from licenses won’t be heard in Senate
Activists attend the 'Let Us Live' march on the Florida Capitol. Screenshot via Zoom.

Trans rally
She announced the bill was dead as transgender activists held a 'Let Us Live' march outside the Capitol.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo says controversial legislation limiting transgender individuals from changing their gender on their driver’s licenses won’t be heard in her chamber.

The measure also would have required insurance companies covering gender reassignment surgery to cover de-transitioning as well.

“That bill is still stuck in committee,” the Naples Republican said, “and so, pursuant to our rules. We don’t take bills. We don’t do the cards or ever take bills out of committee.”

The news came the same day transgender activists held a rally outside the Florida Capitol as part of a “Let Us Live” march. Activists celebrated the news but promised vigilance as the legislation (HB 1639) advances in the House.

“It is vital to understand that one’s identity cannot be erased by denying the right to self-identify,” said Barbie Mugler, Executive Director of Trans United In Elevation’s Tampa chapter.

The House bill is scheduled for a vote on the floor on Thursday.

Rep. Doug Bankson, an Apopka Republican, said his legislation on transgender health care in fact was an act of compassion. “This does not take anyone’s right to personally identify how they wish but this is a state document based upon state statute. That’s why there’s clarity,” Bankson said at a House committee.

LGBTQ lawmakers and allies said the legislation represented yet another intolerant culture war from the far right.

Sen. Shevrin Jones, a Miami Gardens Democrat and Florida’s only openly gay Senator, spoke at the transgender march and credited activists sharing their own stories.

“I want to also share with you on the importance of having a seat at the table, because you know the old saying, that if you’re not at the table that you’re on the menu,” Jones said. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to sit in the Senate and to continue to bring it up to make it clear that the LGBTQ issues — that the LGBTQ community — will no longer continue to be the punching bag of the Florida Legislature.”

But Jones is cisgender, and he said the Legislature also needs transgender voices within its ranks. He and other leaders at the march encouraged activists to run for office in order to play a greater role in stopping bills.

On note, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has already dictated through executive authority that the state won’t issue driver’s licenses with a different gender than the one matching a birth certificate. A memo from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said any driver’s license with other information should be treated as a violation of Florida’s prohibition on false IDs.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Michael K

    February 28, 2024 at 2:54 pm

    Passidomo deserves credit for realizing that divisive culture wars simply tear us apart, and do nothing but create division and cruelty toward fellow citizens. I only wish she had found her spine befoer enabling a failed governor to abuse his position to conduct one of the worst presidential campaigns in modern history – at tremendous taxpayer expense and damage to good people and institutions.

    Anti-woke is broke – that dog don’t hunt.

    • Alexa

      March 1, 2024 at 6:23 pm

      “divisive culture wars simply tear us apart“

      But trans advocates get to redefine reality for everyone else, correct? They get to teach their pseudoscience in school and we all just shut up and listen, right? Your ilk on the left started this culture war and have divided the country. Don’t start a war and not expect the other side to respond

  • Reform is needed

    February 28, 2024 at 8:10 pm

    Passidomo does deserve credit for not hearing this house bill in the senate, but unfortunately the damage is already done. Through executive order the decision was already made by high heel wearing Rhonda and her Kremlin cronies! Wake up everyone, your rights are all being attacked. Next is genitalia checks at bathrooms, and full fledged attacks on women’s rights. I’m republican but what happened to the days of smaller government conservatives. Enough is enough.

    • FortmyersLena

      February 29, 2024 at 4:14 pm


    • Alexa

      March 1, 2024 at 6:27 pm

      Why do trans nutjobs get to redefine reality for the rest of us? Why do women and girls have to set aside their sex based rights to placate a bunch of mentally deluded lunatics? You’re no conservative.

Comments are closed.


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