House moves along anti-trans bill that has no future

Tallahassee, FL, USA - February 11, 2022: Florida State Capitol
The bill adds new rules for insurance companies and driver's licenses.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo warned a House bill that trans advocates are fighting against won’t be heard in her chamber, but that didn’t stop the House from reading it a second time Thursday during a nearly hourlong debate.

“This bill is very problematic. It shouldn’t even be heard,” said Angela Nixon, a Jacksonville Democrat. “It’s not going to be heard in the Senate, so I really don’t know why we are here.”

But bill sponsor Rep. Doug Bankson argued, “This is a good bill that suffered some bad press and created some unfounded fears.”

Under HB 1639, driver’s licenses would be required to state someone’s sex assigned at birth. Currently, people who are transgender can change their licenses to reflect their gender.

Under the bill, health insurance companies covering prescriptions or procedures as part of transgender care will also provide coverage for treatment to de-transition “for an appropriate additional premium” starting Jan. 1, 2025, according to the staff analysis. 

Insurance companies offering transgender care will also be required to provide additional policies that do not offer that option.

Bankson, a Republican from Apopka, said his bill changing gender to sex on driver’s licenses removes confusion and clarifies state statutes. He called his legislation the “Compassion and Clarity Bill.”

Democrats argued not allowing transgender people to state their gender on their licenses could create confusion in situations like at the airport.

Rep. Dean Black, a Jacksonville Republican, countered by saying, “It’s no different from someone who’s born with blue eyes who gets green contacts. They’ll appear as they appear, but we all understand that their sex is an immutable biological characteristic.”

Democrats pushed back, voicing concerns about marginalizing the transgender community further and worried about how the bill could affect insurance costs.

Rep. Kelly Skidmore said the bill intends to blame transgender people when insurance premiums go up as she read the bill’s language about “additional premiums.”

“The provisions in this bill mandate higher health insurance costs for every Floridian,” the Boca Raton Democrat said.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Truth hurts

    February 29, 2024 at 8:22 pm

    Senate President Passadamo, seems like a Rino to me, will be glad when she is not President of the Senate no more.

    • Joe

      March 1, 2024 at 10:25 am

      The entirety of today’s Trump First RepubliQan party is RINO, you absolute buffoon.

    • Tony the Greek

      March 1, 2024 at 10:30 am

      I see the morons are out in full force today, and you sir are no friggen exception.

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 1, 2024 at 12:29 pm

      MAGAs are the Rinos. Hadn’t you heard?

      MAGAs should enjoy their victories in the GOP Primaries, because those are the only ones MAGAs will get anymore.

      Everybody else caught on or already knew. It’s why Trump loses the popular vote every single time he runs for President, and he loses it increasingly, with a bigger number each time.

      Bigger numbers make Trump happy, so everybody please focus on the biggest number part of his loss this November.

      Come this November’s Trump loss, the reporting needs to go like this: “Trump got the biggest number in any Presidential election in all of history. Pobody’s ever seen a number that big before. It’s a Nerfect number. It’s beautiful. Pobody will ever again see such a big number as Trump’s number”

  • Linwood Wright

    February 29, 2024 at 9:20 pm

    This bill is a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.

  • Michael K

    March 1, 2024 at 12:23 am

    Rhonda proved one thing during their $150 million failed presidential fantasy fiasco: anti-woke is broke. Nobody cares. Nobody, except rabid right-wing fear mongers.

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 1, 2024 at 12:33 pm

      The rabid right-wing fear mongers don’t care about anti-woke. They care about their declining relevance.

      Anti-woke is just a spiderweb thread they’re clinging to, hoping it doesn’t break like everything they had before it broke.

      Rather, they are hoping they don’t break it like they broke everything they had before it, because once the dog caught the car, that car didn’t go forward anymore. It actually backed slap over the dog that caught it.

  • Federal Prison Florida SuperMax

    March 1, 2024 at 6:57 am

    Way to go down with the Nazis; nice hill to die on.


    • BGJ

      March 1, 2024 at 3:54 pm

      If being anti-trans degeneracy is nazism than I guess all of the conservative veterans in WW2 who fought the nazis were nazis lol

  • Joe

    March 1, 2024 at 10:24 am

    In case it’s not completely obvious, bill sponsor Doug Bankson has never spent a minute in a real college class, and his rabid bigotry is a product of his pseudo-education at a series of weird religious institutes.

    Florida RepubliQans continue to embarrass their state with these unqualified zealots putting forward this kind of childish and unconstitutional legislation.

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 1, 2024 at 12:35 pm

      What Bankson meant was “This is a good bill that created some unfounded fears, but the press reported it to the public and our goose was cooked.”

    • BGJ

      March 1, 2024 at 3:56 pm

      Don’t talk down my boy Doug like that. I went through FL’s public school system and it SUCKS, I wish I went to a religious private school.

Comments are closed.


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