The Scoop: WMNF’s daily digest of news headlines for Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

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“Stay Woke” bus tour makes its way through Florida this week

With elections getting more of the spotlight in anticipation of the presidential election year, voting rights organizations are taking a “votercade” bus tour this week through 15 cities across Florida to encourage voter registration while encouraging Floridians to “Stay woke” amidst recently passed laws that impact students, teachers, and workers, as well the African American and the LGBTQ communities. They call it the “Stay Woke Florida!” bus tour, featuring the face of the prominent Civil Rights leader and late congress member John Lewis, who in his days encouraged voters to get into “Good Trouble” in the fight for fairness in elections.

 Dozens of organizations gathered yesterday for a bus tour stop at Cyrus Greene Park in east Tampa including the Transformative Justice Coalition, the Rainbow Push Coalition, and the NAACP.

 Governor Ron DeSantis Office of Election Crimes and Security has investigated allegations of voter fraud in recent years, but several of those cases have been dismissed.

 Rosa Parks and other civil rights leaders like John Lewis, asserting the right to vote, especially amidst false allegations of voter fraud is the kind of “good trouble” that the Floridians should be willing to get into to assert their rights. But even the laws aren’t seen as fair to everyone as they’re written. Democratic State House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell said former Georgia State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams got it right when she named her organization, “Fair Fight.”

Some issues mentioned at the rally were new laws banning the instruction of critical race theory, banning some books from schools, and prohibitions of teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity classrooms.

The bus tour will make stops later today in Miami and will finish the tour in Jacksonville on Friday.

Florida Board approves changes to gender-affirmation treatment

The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine approved an emergency rule that will allow transgender children and adults to continue obtaining gender-affirming treatments under certain conditions yesterday. Physicians will be able to renew orders for puberty blockers and hormone therapy so long as no changes are made to prescriptions. The state Board of Medicine on June 8 also approved the rule, which will allow the continuation of treatment while the medical boards draft other regulations to carry out a new law that makes it harder for trans adults and children to obtain gender-affirming care. The law, signed on May 17th by Governor Ron DeSantis, prohibits doctors from ordering treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy for children but includes an exception for children already using the treatments.

St. Pete Police prepare for Pride

St. Petersburg is prepping for its annual Pride parade during a time some may call hostile to the LGBTQ community. The city’s police department addressed safety concerns at a press conference yesterday.

Information from the Florida Public Radio network, News Service of Florida, and Associated Press was used in this report.

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