TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded his controversial Parental Rights in Education law Wednesday, signing five bills at a ‘Protecting Florida Children’ event in Tampa.
The newly signed bills restrict “indoctrination” and “confusing concepts like gender identity, forced pronouns, and males competing in woman’s sports” within the Florida education system.
The first bill, SB 254, outlaws “permanent mutilating surgical procedures” and experimental puberty blockers for minors, and requires adults receiving these surgeries and hormone therapies be informed of the irreversible nature and dangers associated with them.
The second bill, HB 1069, removes “pronoun politics” and expands the existing Parental Rights in Education law, which is known by many as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. The bill will remove the obligation for Florida students and teachers to “declare” their pronouns. It also bars schools from forcing students, faculty, and staff to use pronounces not based on biological sex.
“We’re not doing the pronoun Olympics here in Florida,” DeSantis said. “Let the kids be kids. Let them be in school like normal and it’s inappropriate to force them to try to choose these pronouns.”
The third bill, HB 1438, shields children from “sexually explicit adult performances” in all venues, including drag shows and strip clubs. It also imposes penalties for venues that admit children into an adult performance.
The fourth bill, HB 1521, requires state-run buildings and schools with a restroom, locker room, or changing facility to have separate facilities for men and women based on the sex assigned at birth.
Lastly, HB 225 preserves the right to public prayer at the beginning of high school sporting events and imposes state control over the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to “ensure women’s sports are protected.”
Democrats opposed the bills and LBTQ+ rallies were held at the Capitol during the session that ended two weeks ago, but Republicans have a supermajority in both chambers and the bills easily moved through the legislative process.