The SB 254 bill is a war against authenticity

Benz Marshall Pierre | Contributing Writer 

The United States may not be perfect, but the values we embrace make up for them. Among those values is the freedom of expression, but Senate Bill 254 passed by the Florida legislature against transgender care is contesting that freedom.

SB 254 is the new statement against the conservative boogeyman that is Wokeism – it is a law that bans gender transition care for minors while significantly restricting it for adults. It goes further, as it would make it easier for one parent opposing the gender transition procedure to rip custody away from the consenting parent.

In other words, the state of Florida would be intervening in a personal decision they have no business in.

This law is an odd turn from the parental rights absolutism craze that took hold of the legislature in the past months. Under that law, House Bill 1557, parents against exposing their children to certain content are empowered to bring legal action against a school district if the teacher fails to notify them. Content falling under this law includes the mere mention of LGBTQ identity or orientation.

By doing so, they also prohibit such content for students of consenting parents.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t surprise me. The state has been on a crusade to ban these subjects from the classroom, regardless of how harmless the content is. 

But the Florida legislature, like any other legislature, has ideals, goals and agendas. SB 254 acts to serve these goals. 

The effects will be far-reaching, but that will not sway the Republican-led legislature in its marathon to destroy everything in the way that it opposes. What is also concerning is the fact that there is no genuine desire to address the issue. It’s simply a political punching bag that serves the interests of Ron DeSantis, the most notorious culture warrior.

Why do they care so much? Last month, Florida Republican Representative Webster Barnaby compared transgender people to “X-Men mutants” and called them “demon imps.” 

This disturbing disrespect from those representing us is nothing short of intolerance. 

It’s a daring attack against people who share a lifestyle different from his.

What better way to demean them than to reduce their humanity to nothingness? 

Had Mr. Barnaby had any notion of the X-Men saga, he would have known that they were the actual heroes of the movie. These “demon imps,” as the state representative eloquently put it, are our classmates at FIU who will be impacted by this law once put into effect.

But it is easy to think of these issues in light of the political backlash they create. The real-life consequences that trans people will face are far more troubling. From a humanitarian standpoint, it’s challenging to think of a liberal society like ours waging war against someone’s sexual orientation.

Imagine being torn inside and the one thing that can restore peace to your internal war is placed beyond your reach. Imagine the most intimate element of an individual’s life is no longer theirs to control.

Well, there is no need to imagine them — All this is underway in Florida with SB 254. 

Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone experiencing an overzealous legislature deciding for you what is an authentic life. 

The future looks bleak for these individuals residing in Florida. If DeSantis wins the presidential bid next year, he will take it nationwide. But this will not be the final words of this article.

The dream of a fair society still has some followers and we can only recommend they join their voices with that of the alienated to fight this scourge.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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