While not an important issue to most voters, Florid Democrats and LGBT activists want to make transgender issues a top priority in the 2022 legislative session.
However, with the GOP in control of both chambers, some of the issues Democrats and LGBT groups pushing may not get anywhere in the Legislature.
This includes repealing the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” that was passed earlier this year. The law bans those who were born male, that have now transitioned into females, from competing in girls’ sports.
State Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Ft. Lauderdale, is leading the charge on this issue in the upper chamber.
“You have just as much right to run onto a field or a court as any other girl in this state,” said Farmer who has sponsored the “Let Kids Play Act” to repeal the ban.
But state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, who was key to passing the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” has vowed to fight the proposal.
“Women should be playing women’s sports with their muscular make-up and not be playing against men, biological men,” Stargel said.
The LGBT community is also calling to change gender identity on driver’s licenses, pushing a gender-neutral approach.
Proposals being floated by Democrats in the Legislature would allow Floridians the option to choose non-binary, meaning you neither identify as male or female as your gender, on a driver’s license.
State Rep. Kristen Arrington, D-Kissimmee, introduced a bill that would provide a gender-neutral ID, insisting it will allow a more accurate gender marker on a driver’s license.
At a recent rally at the state capital in Tallahassee, transgender activists said their community was “under attack,” claiming the GOP’s opposition on transgender issues will hurt them in the 2022 elections.
“I’m not convinced of that,” said former state Rep. Matt Caldwell, now the Lee County property appraiser and a news analyst for Fox Radio across Florida.
Caldwell said when local school boards look at allowing trans athletes to compete in girls’ high school sports, parents showed up and demanded that school districts not support these measures.
“When you talk about transgender issues, it’s generally not the most important issue to voters or parents,” Caldwell said. “But when you bring the issue up at a town hall forum or a school board meeting telling parents that trans athletes will be allowed to compete in girls high school sports, then it becomes a top priority.”