An appeals court will consider Florida’s pronouns law in September

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Illustration of gender pronouns by Ekaterina Tveitan via iStock for WMNF News.

©2024 The News Service of Florida

Granting a request to speed up the case, a federal appeals court will hear arguments in September in a battle about a 2023 Florida law aimed at restricting educators’ use of personal pronouns and titles in schools.

The state took the case to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in April sided with a transgender teacher who challenged the law.

Walker issued a preliminary injunction that blocked education officials from enforcing the law against Hillsborough County teacher Katie Wood, though the injunction did not apply statewide.

The case centers on part of the 2023 law that says a school employee “may not provide to a student his or her preferred personal title or pronouns if such preferred personal title or pronouns do not correspond to his or her sex.”

The state defines sex as what was assigned at birth.

The lawsuit alleged the restrictions violate the First Amendment and what is known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because they discriminate based on sex.

After appealing Walker’s ruling, lawyers for the state asked the Atlanta-based appeals to “expedite” arguments.

The appeals court on Friday granted the motion and scheduled a hearing on Sept. 16 in Birmingham, Ala.

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