Florida lawmaker calls for eradication of LGBTQ+ community: ‘Damn right we ought to do it’

Florida Republican lawmaker Randy Fine has appeared to call for the eradication of all queer people, while defending his drag-ban bill.

Fine, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, was defending his bill before a state legislative committee on Wednesday (12 April). Formally known as HB 1423, it seeks to ban drag performances in public.

In a video of his speech, Fine said: “If it means erasing a community because you [LGBTQ people] have to target children, then damn right we ought to do it.”

He seemingly stood by the comment later, retweeting an account that had singled out the quote.

Florida House Representative Randy Fine retweeted an account singling out his quote about “erasing” queer communities. (Twitter)

Fine went on to insist that his bill is not anti-drag, but is about protecting children. If passed int law, it would penalise venues for allowing children to attend performances containing sexual conduct or lewd behaviour, which is broadly defined.

He noted that the bill does not mention drag (instead it says “adult live performances”). However, Fine implicitly linked the two by referring to taking issue with a Drag Queen Story Time evening happening as part of a Pride festival.

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Under the bill, adult live performances are recognised as: shows, exhibitions or other presentation in front of a live audience that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, specific sexual activities, lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts.

The proposed legislation would give officials the authority to revoke or suspend the licence of public establishments violating the rules.

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In his speech, he said the question was not why he wants the bill to proceed but “why are there people in this world so determined to push this on children… because if you weren’t doing that, this bill wouldn’t exist”.

The bill is similar to the drag ban in Tennessee, the first anti-drag bill to pass through US state legislature.

Having passed in February, it was set to come into effect on 1 April. However, a federal judge stepped in to block it on 31 March, saying it was too broad.

Judge Thomas Parker’s ruling has since been extended until 26 May.

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