Breaking News
More () »

LGBTQ+ groups in Florida condemn new bills signed into law

New laws effectively immediately bans gender affirming care for minors and admission of children into "adult live performances."

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two new bills signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are now in effect.

The governor told the crowd at Cambridge Christian School the goal is to protect children.

“It’s kind of sad that we even have some of these discussions,” DeSantis told the crowd, standing behind a lectern with a sign reading “Let Kids Be Kids.”

But some members of the LGBTQ+ community condemn the legislation. Opponents said they believe DeSantis is using the new legislation as a ploy for his expected announcement to run for president.

Effective immediately, minors may not seek gender-affirming care and a law punishing businesses that admit minors to "adult live performances."

Critics argue the law targets drag performers and its vagueness could have a direct impact on annual Pride parades. 

Bars like Cocktail in St. Petersburg plan not to have drag performers on its Pride float during the St. Pete Pride Parade in one month to avoid losing their liquor license, owner David Fischer said. Already, no drag queens were on its float during the Tampa Pride Parade in March.

"It's sad that this is playing out," Fischer said. "Three-hundred thousand people come to the events that happen in June in St. Pete from all over the world."

Fischer believes the new laws could backfire on Florida after travel advisories were put in place by groups like Equality Florida. The governor said it was a political stunt.

"You have an obligation to make sure these kids are not permitted into the premises," the governor said of the establishments that host such performances.

DeSantis said he believes it's about holding such premises accountable. Already, the state sought to revoke the liquor license of a Miami hotel that hosted a Christmas-themed drag show back in December. 

For months, drag performers have protested arguing the legislation instills fear into the community. Entertainers like Angelique Young, a trans drag queen in the Bay Area, condemned the legislation during a press conference by Equality Florida.

"People don't realize how this kind of a ban can truly hurt the community," Young said. 

Other bills the governor signed, which LGBTQ+ groups have said target them, include:

  • An expansion of the Parental Rights in Education law, known to critics as Don't Say Gay.
  • A ban on people from entering bathrooms or locker rooms that don't correspond to a person's biological sex.
  • Legislation that allows students who attend private or virtual school and are homeschooled to participate in sports and extracurricular activities at private and public schools, regardless of their ZIP code.  

To read more about the new laws, visit this link.

Before You Leave, Check This Out