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Central Florida LGBTQ+ groups, Democratic politicians plan statements against HB 599

Former State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith
File photo
Former State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith is among the officials schedule to speak at a press conference on House Bill 599 Monday morning.

The Pride Chamber has announced a press conference for Monday morning to oppose House Bill 599, saying it "threatens to undermine the rights and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community."

The bill, by Belleview Republican Ryan Chamberlin, goes beyond recent Florida laws restricting personal pronoun use and talk of gender identity in schools.

It targets those issues at work for government contractors and agencies.

Their employees would not be allowed to provide a preferred pronoun if it doesn't match their sex at birth. And those employers couldn't use the pronoun or make other employees use it.

Under HB 599, nonprofits and companies that receive state funds cannot require training on gender issues.

It also has protections for workers and contractors with "traditional or Biblical views of sexuality and marriage."

The bill asserts as state policy that one's sex is, quote, "an immutable biological trait."

In its announcement, the Pride Chamber said the LGBTQ+ community and its allies "will unite to condemn Chamberlin’s bill, emphasizing that our community will not be erased."

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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