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Florida's latest anti-LGBTQIA+ laws are forcing Pride events to cancel

Florida's latest anti-LGBTQIA+ laws are forcing Pride events to cancel

Jamie Wareham
Jamie Wareham
TL;DR: The Republican governor who is expected to run for President is doubling down on anti-trans and anti-queer legislation in a state that now actively discriminates against LGBTQIA+ people.

Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis has signed several wide-ranging anti-LGBTQIA+ bills causing Pride events to cancel, fearing they may break the law.

The bills include new laws that:

  • Ban children from undergoing transgender medical treatments
  • Ban children from going to drag shows
  • Restrict pronoun use in classrooms
  • Ban trans people from single-sex spaces that don't match their 'biological sex'

The Republican governor, who is expected to enter the 2024 White House race against Donald Trump, said the laws would make the state a "refuge of sanity". LGBTQIA+ and human rights groups have decried and condemned the moves - BBC

Meanwhile, a traffic sign in the state was hijacked and showed the message "kill all gays" - The Hill

Pride events cancel in the wake of the laws

Pride has always had drag and gender-diverse people at the core of its movement. In recent years as an explosion in drag culture hit the mainstream - drag, has too cemented it’s fundamental part in the protest.

These new laws have made Tampa Bay Pride feel they have no choice but to cancel their event in fear of breaking the law, which bans young people from attending drag shows - Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Pride President Carrie West confirmed to several local news outlets that the event, called Tampa Pride on the River, would not go ahead in September because it features drag performances at a public venue.

They're worried that the businesses involved, and the event itself, could lose their licences or face prosecution - Huff Post

It's the second event in the state to cancel. Port St. Lucie, north of West Palm Beach, cancelled its Pride parade ahead of the laws being enacted this week - TC Palm

Ongoing wave of anti-trans legislation has profound effect

Though Florida gets a lot of attention for leading the way, it is not alone as a wave of anti-trans and LGBTQIA+ legislation sweeps the US.

This week Texas moves in their state government see them set to become the 18th US states will ban gender-affirming care for young trans people - The Independent

In Tennessee, a new law has effectively ended legal recognition of transgender people's gender and puts at risk anti-discrimination protections afforded to them through that legal status - Erin In The Morning

Organisations that endorse Pride are facing a furore similar to that seen during the Bud Light saga. Target's infamous pride line is getting a lot of heat.

An LA Dodgers pride event cancelled a booking of The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence, a renowned charity featuring gender-diverse folk and drag nuns, in a concession to far-right demands. Practically every major LGBTQIA+ organisation in this state has now pulled its support for the Dodgers’ event - Yahoo

Analysis: What happens in the US is a sign of what's to come

Whether you like it or not, we borrow a lot of our culture from the US. What happens in politics there is often repeated in the UK.

We've seen a flavour of that this week, as the US Christian Group National Conservatism launched its UK arm with a conference featuring government ministers.

As the US ramps up for a presidential election that's likely to see the Republicans focus on culture wars, we should expect to see a similar approach to the UK's general election, due in the next year and a half.

Jamie Wareham, he/him, gay queer disabled - A note from me:

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