The state of LGBTQ issues with Equality Florida’s director of transgender equality, Angelique Godwin

Transgender flag
Transgender Pride Flag with LGBTQ rainbow flag by apeyron via iStock for WMNF News.

June is LGBTQ Pride Month. St. Pete Pride celebrations continue through this weekend. And there’s lots of news in Florida that impacts the LGBTQ community and allies.

On WMNF’s Tuesday Café we spoke about that with Equality Florida‘s Director of Transgender Equality, Angelique Godwin.

Listen to the full show here:

Ashley Brundage, a transgender Floridian, is running for the State Legislature. WMNF’s The Skinny spoke with her on Friday. She’s running for House District 65, where Representative Karen Gonzalez Pittman is running for re-election.

Last week a judge rejected a law restricting treatment for transgender Floridians. The 2023 Florida law and regulations prohibit the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapy to treat children for gender dysphoria and make it harder for trans adults to access care. The judge said that law and regulations are unconstitutionally discriminatory and were motivated by “animus” toward transgender people. He forbade state health officials from enforcing the law, which also carried heavy sanctions and potential jail time for doctors who violated the restrictions.

Watch this interview:

Last week the Biden administration asked a federal judge to reject Florida’s attempt to block a new health-care rule that seeks to prevent discrimination based on gender identity. In a brief, U.S. Department of Justice attorneys argued that a U.S. District Judge should deny a preliminary injunction sought by Florida and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed last month. The lawsuit stems from a federal rule, issued in April, which affects programs such as Medicaid and KidCare. The rule is designed to help carry out a law that prevents discrimination in health-care programs that receive federal money. The law prevents discrimination based on “sex,” and the rule applies that to include discrimination based on gender identity.

Also last week, The Biden administration urged a U.S. district judge to reject efforts by Florida and other states to block a new federal rule about sex-based discrimination in education programs. Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and four organizations filed a lawsuit in April to challenge a rule that prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction against the rule, which is designed to help carry out Title IX, a landmark 1972 law that bars discrimination in education programs based on sex.

In January, Florida changed its policy by not letting people change the gender on their driver’s licenses – the state suggested that transgender individuals with correct licenses are committing fraud. One critic called it “an ongoing campaign to make Florida uninhabitable and unsafe for transgender individuals.”

An appeals court will consider Florida’s pronouns law in September. The 2023 Florida restricted educators’ use of personal pronouns and titles in schools. The state took the case to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a Chief U.S. District Judge in April sided with a transgender teacher who challenged the law. WMNF News interviewed Katie Wood about her legal victory.

At the beginning of this month, several Florida cities raised the Gay Pride Flag over city buildings. But it was almost the case that it would have been illegal in Florida until a bill died in the Legislature this year.

Right before Gulfport raised the Pride Flag, WMNF News asked Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice about that failed bill. “I think there’s two parts of it one. We don’t need Tallahassee legislators trying to diminish and negatively impact our LGBTQ community. That’s first off. Secondly is, I’m a strong believer in local control. And cities and counties and local governments should have the ability to make some of those basic decisions for themselves, without big government from Tallahassee interfering,” Justice said.

In March, Florida settled a lawsuit over its “Don’t Say Gay” law. The settlement came after months of talks. It seeks to draw a distinction between preventing “classroom instruction” about gender identity and sexual orientation and other school contexts in which the subjects might come up.

The Disney vs. DeSantis feud started over Don’t Say Gay. But now the two are getting along and the theme park is once again making campaign donations to homophobic Republican elected officials.

information from News Service of Florida was used in this report

Also on Tuesday Café on June 18, 2024

We spoke with Kari Mueller, a licensed Professional Engineer, who has given a series of webinars on behalf of the group No Home Run. They oppose the current deal proposed by the Tampa Bay Rays for a new stadium and development in the Historic Gas Plant District of St. Pete.

WMNF’s Tuesday Café

Tuesday Café airs live weekly on WMNF beginning at 10:06 a.m. ET.

You can listen live on 88.5 FM in Tampa Bay, on or on the WMNF Community Radio app.

You can watch replays on TBAE Network channels at 8:00 a.m and 2:00 p.m Tuesdays on Spectrum 636, Frontier 34 and Or on demand.

You can listen anytime on demand on or by subscribing to the Tuesday Café podcast on your favorite podcast platform. – WMNF’s Tuesday Café with Seán Kinane.

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