I am writing to express my opposition to Senate Bill 254, which would allow the state to take temporary custody of children who may be receiving gender-affirming care now or in the future. This bill is a direct attack on the rights of transgender people and their families, and has no place in our state.
Transgender children deserve the same respect, support, and medical care as any other child. By allowing the state to intervene and take custody of these children, this bill would put their well-being at risk and undermine the autonomy of their families. It is unconscionable that our state would consider taking such drastic and harmful measures against a vulnerable population.
Furthermore, this bill would have a devastating impact on healthcare providers who work with transgender patients, potentially causing them to hesitate or refuse to provide gender-affirming care out of fear of legal repercussions. This would deny transgender people the healthcare they need and deserve, putting their health and well-being in jeopardy.
As Floridians, we must stand up for the rights of all people, including transgender individuals and their families. I urge our lawmakers to reject Senate Bill 254 and work towards creating a more just and equitable state for everyone.
Jane Merriam, Punta Gorda
Ed.: ARAY is Charlotte County’s support organization for LGBTQ+ youth and allies 20 and under. Visit https://www.facebook.com/AllRainbowandAlliedYouth/ for more info.