A bill filed in the Florida House of Representatives would strip away protections for the transgender community. State Rep. Frank Artiles (R-Miami) filed HB 583 last week in Tallahassee. The bill is titled “Single-Sex Public Facilities.”

The proposed one sentence law reads as follows: “Single-Sex Public Facilities: Requires that use of single-sex facilities be restricted to persons of sex for which facility is designated; prohibits knowingly and willfully entering single-sex public facility designated for or restricted to persons of other biological sex; provides exemptions; provides private cause of action against violators; provides for preemption.”

Artiles told the Miami Herald, “my No. 1 concern is public safety” and that his motivation for filing the bill was the recent ordinance passed by Miami-Dade County prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Broward and Monroe Counties have similar ordinances, which Artiles maintains provides a giant loophole to criminals and sexual predators.

Terry Fleming, President of the Florida Democratic Party’s LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Allies) Caucus, said the bill interferes with local government home rule authority.

“This harmful bill is just the latest example of Republicans using the power of government to humiliate and harass people they view as second class citizens,” Fleming said.


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