House OKs trans driver’s license bill

Rep. Bankson said his bill doesn't target the trans community.

The House has passed a controversial bill that sparked protests by the transgender community although the legislation is expected to be dead.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said earlier this week that it won’t be heard on the Senate floor since its Senate companion bill did not get heard in committee.

With a 75-33 vote, the House approved HB 1639 which would stop people who are transgender from putting gender on their driver’s licenses. Instead, the documents would be required to state a person’s birth-assigned sex.

The bill also would add new requirements for insurance companies. 

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.

“This is a good bill,” argued Rep. Doug Bankson, the bill’s sponsor. “There are strawman arguments that this is some attack against the trans community and that is not what this bill represents.”

But Democrats didn’t buy it and argued his bill is targeting the trans community. Others said it was inappropriate for the state to mandate such coverage and feared it might force insurance costs to go up for all Floridians.

During committee, the trans community and LGBTQ advocates spoke out against the bill in often emotional remarks. Some called the de-transition surgery a form of conversion therapy.

Bankson fought back and said his bill had gotten a bad rap.

“Frankly, I find it hypocritical to preach tolerance and love for the trans community and then have an absolute disregard for the most marginalized among them — those who now seek to de-transition,” Bankson said on the House floor in his closing. “It’s wrong to preach that offering de-transitioners corrective surgery and treatment will upset the insurance market and then demand everyone else pay for their surgery and treatment of trans people. That makes no sense.”

Earlier this week, Passidomo addressed HB 1639 and told reporters, “That bill is still stuck in committee, and so, pursuant to our rules. We don’t take bills. We don’t do the cards or ever take bills out of committee.”

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 .


  • Flori-Duh

    March 1, 2024 at 10:19 pm


  • PeterH

    March 2, 2024 at 12:29 am

    More FREEDUMB from the Florida legislature!

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 2, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    For as long as the cops still aren’t having drivers pull their pants down on the shoulder just to check what’s in there, what bearing does one’s gender have on driving or identification when your picture’s on there?

Comments are closed.


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