FL House Introduces ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for Businesses, Nonprofits

FL Rep. Ryan Chamberlin (R-Belleview) introduced HB599. Photo via Facebook.

The Florida House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would prohibit employees from using pronouns that don’t align with their biological sex, as well as barring nonprofits from including gender identity and sexual orientation in their training.

HB599, or Gender Identity Employment Practices, was filed Nov. 21 by Rep. Ryan Chamberlin (R) of Belleview, FL.

The bill prohibits employees and contractors from being required to provide their titles and pronouns, and also protects them from being penalized should they not provide them. It also prohibits “adverse personnel action on the basis of deeply held religious or biology-based beliefs.”

Further, the bill notes that, “It is the policy of the state that a person's sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person's sex.” Finally, the bill calls it “an unlawful employment practice” for charities that benefit from state funding to require training on “sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

“HB 599 is an extreme escalation of right-wing extremism in Florida,” Carlos Guillermo Smith, Equality Florida’s senior policy advisor, said in a statement. “The bill imposes unprecedented government control over the work of nonprofit organizations disfavored by the DeSantis administration, and goes far beyond its proposed regulation of pronouns to aggressively target the rights of transgender government employees to simply exist as themselves. This latest attack is a continuation of DeSantis’s censorship agenda, which attempts to erode our basic democratic freedoms in order to appeal to a far-right base.”

Some are calling HB599 the “Don’t Say Gay” of the business and charity world, mimicking rules that bar Florida schools from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity. This has led to book bans, more permission slips for parents, and an attack on AP Psychology and AP African American History.

Should HB599 pass, it would go into effect July 1, 2024.


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