Florida Republicans have recently proposed a bill that seeks to remove transgender children from their parental custody, a move that has been widely condemned as fascist and discriminatory. The bill, known as HB 1365 or the “Parental Bill of Rights” would allow the state to intervene in cases where parents are deemed unfit to make decisions about their child’s gender identity.

The bill has drawn criticism from civil rights groups, LGBTQ advocates, and medical professionals who argue that it infringes on the rights of transgender individuals and undermines the core principles of family law. The proposed law would classify parents who support their transgender children as abusive and would give the state the power to remove the child from their care.

The bill would define “gender” as a person’s biological sex and prohibit parents from providing “gender-affirming” care for their child, which includes counseling, hormone therapy, or gender-affirming surgery. The bill would also require medical professionals to report suspected child abuse if the parents seek such treatments for their child.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Dennis Baxley, has defended the legislation as a means to protect parental rights and prevent “medical experiments” on children. However, critics argue that the bill is fraught with misinformation and misunderstanding about transgender identity and medical treatment.

Transgender individuals, especially children, face significant health risks and discrimination if they are denied access to gender-affirming care. Medical experts agree that providing such care, including hormone therapy or surgery, can save lives and prevent serious health complications.

Moreover, the bill’s language is discriminatory and stigmatizes transgender people. The bill effectively creates a separate legal category for transgender children, removing them from the protections afforded to other youth under family law. This is in direct violation of the United States Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

The timing of the proposed legislation is especially concerning, given the recent increase in anti-trans legislation across the country. At least 33 states have introduced bills aimed at restricting transgender individuals’ access to public accommodations, healthcare, and sports. Such bills have been widely condemned by a range of organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Education Association.

Many LGBTQ rights activists see this as a larger trend to infringe upon the rights of transgender individuals by various state legislatures. In recent years, there has been a rise in hate crimes that target transgender individuals, and the pandemic has exacerbated their marginalization. Transgender people continue to face significant barriers to employment, housing, and healthcare, and they also deal with systemic discrimination and violence.

In Florida, the proposed bill is seen as another attempt to violate the basic human rights of transgender individuals. HB 1365 does not seek to protect families or children; it seeks to endanger them. It is a callous assault on the well-being of trans youth and the very notion of equal rights under the law.

If passed, the proposed legislation would have a devastating impact on countless transgender youth and their loved ones. It would send a message that the government is willing to use its power to intimidate and punish individuals who do not conform to traditional gender norms. It would also perpetuate harmful stereotypes that transgender people are mentally ill, disordered, and in need of correction.

The proposed law also raises fundamental questions about the role of the state in determining what is best for a child. The government’s role in family law is to protect children from abuse and neglect, not to micromanage parents’ decisions on their child’s gender identity.

Transgender children, like all children, deserve to live safely and with dignity. They deserve to be surrounded by a family that loves and supports them, which includes allowing them to seek out gender-affirming care if it is appropriate for them. It is time for our lawmakers to reject this dangerous and discriminatory legislation and stand up for the rights of all people, regardless of their gender identity.

In conclusion, the proposed bill in Florida to remove transgender children from parental custody is a blatant attempt to infringe upon the rights of transgender individuals and endanger their well-being. Premised on misinformation and fear-mongering, the bill is a thinly veiled attempt to discriminate against the transgender community under the guise of “parental rights.” Transgender children deserve protection, care, and support, not to be used as pawns in a dangerous political game.