Florida State Representative Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, said he plans to file a bill that would make providing drugs or surgery to a minor for gender assignment a felony child abuse crime punishable by prison and/or loss of a medical license. He said the bill would not affect “mental counseling” for minors.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Fine said his proposal was spurred by the backlash to what critics call the “don’t say gay” bill signed last week by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Fine said opponents of his new law would be part of a “radical grooming minority that tried to sexualize our children,” echoing recent conservative rhetoric that opponents of the “don’t say gay” bill included pedophiles.
Asked if his proposed bill, first announced on Twitter, goes against the concept of parental rights espoused by DeSantis and Florida Republicans, Fine said, “parents don’t have a right to abuse their children. So if you agree with my premise … that cutting off the penis of a 12-year-old is child abuse, then a parent shouldn’t have the right to do that.”