Florida Republicans’ Hateful Obsession With Trans People Has To Stop

Florida Republicans’ Hateful Obsession With Trans People Has To Stop

Florida lawmakers have revoked a policy allowing transgender residents to change their official gender on driver’s licenses. A leaked memo dated January 26 from deputy executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), Robert Kynoch, indicates an immediate halt to the issuance of licenses for updated gender markers. 

Kynoch’s memo claims that “gender” is synonymous with “sex,” a concept that has been refuted by the National Institute of Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention according to ABC News. 

Prior to rescinding the law, the DHSMV allowed Floridians to submit a court order to officially change their name, or request a gender marker change with a letter from a physician or gender transition treatment.  

This is just one effort in a statewide campaign against the LGBTQ+ community in Florida, a mission ushered in by Governor Ron DeSantis’ hateful rhetoric toward LGBTQ+ people and new legislation working against the rights of trans residents. 

Florida Democratic (FDP) chair, Nikki Fried, said “Florida Republicans’ obsession with trans people has to stop,” in a statement last week. Fried also singled out DeSantis for executing discriminatory “under-the-table rule changes throughout his administration,” Them reports. 

“We’ve seen state agencies continually weaponized under Ron DeSantis, and this rule change at DHSMV serves the same purpose as the rest – allowing right-wing extremists to get the wildly unpopular policies they want without having to go on the record as voting for them,” Fried wrote.

Currently, gender changes on identification cards are permitted in 22 states, and many even include a gender-neutral option. Around 16 states also allow these changes on birth certificates. The Department of State also allows U.S. passport applicants to choose their gender without submitting medical documentation.

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