Gov. Ron DeSantis is widely expected to sign the legislation. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo By Andrew Atterbury 05/03/2023 06:55 PM EDT Link CopiedTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Republicans passed legislation Wednesday that would make it a misdemeanor trespassing offense for someone to use certain bathrooms that don’t align with their sex at birth.The bill, now headed to Gov.
Ron DeSantis for his signature, is limited to people using restrooms and changing facilities in state and local government buildings, schools, colleges and detention centers.But, in a major change approved with two days left of session, lawmakers significantly scaled the measure back so it no longer applies to bathrooms in restaurants, gas stations and other businesses as it did previously.Despite Republicans curtailing its scope, Democrats still vehemently opposed the legislation, arguing that the policies are targeting transgender people.
Republicans, however, argue the bill is are about protecting “public safety, decency and decorum.”“We’ve had a huge scientific study with billions of people for 136 years that separate facilities work,” state Rep.
Rachel Plakon (R-Lake Mary), who carried the House bill, said on the floor Wednesday. “Vote ‘yes’ for common sense.”DeSantis is widely expected to sign the legislation.One of the more contentious bills lawmakers considered in Florida during the two-month annual session, the proposal comes as state Republicans push legislation focused on how gender identity and sexual identity intersect with parental rights and education in general.It joins other moves by Florida Republicans and Gov.