Powerful march takes to Capitol to protest anti-trans bill

Protester holds a sign reading "protect trans kids"

The LGBTQ+ community in Florida has marched to the state capitol, to protest against proposed legislation activists are calling the “trans erasure bill”. 

Hundreds of trans activists and allies marched to the capitol in Tallahassee on Wednesday (28 February) to protest against HB1639, which could affect several parts of trans Floridians’ lives. 

If passed, the legislation could reportedly make it easier for health insurance providers to refuse to offer gender-affirming care for trans people. It might also require medical insurers that cover transition procedures to cover “de-transitioning”.

In addition, the proposed law would mandate that state-issued IDs, such as driving licences, display the person’s sex assigned at birth. 

The bill is reportedly heading for a vote on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives on Thursday (29 February).

“This dangerous bill is a sweeping assault on the rights and dignity of transgender people, creating cruel barriers to medically necessary care and legal recognition on state IDs,” a spokesperson for Equality Florida said.

In an interview with WPTV, Charlotte Caballero, from Tampa, said the march was dedicated to “our kids coming up behind us”, adding: “We have the right to live free and feel happy with our own skin.

“This is just the beginning of more problems that they can cause, but we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

WPTV reported that while Republicans have advanced the bill in the Florida house, it’s unlikely to pass the state senate, and therefore not expected to become law.

Florida has become infamous recently for passing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, with the “Don’t Say Gay” law affecting classrooms across the state. Lawmakers in the Sunshine State have also tried to ban public drag performances, as well as bar trans people from using public toilets consistent with their gender.

The American Civil Liberties Union is currently tracking 11 proposed anti-LGBTQ+ bills in Florida, with more than 250 others tracked across the whole of the US so far this year.

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