LGBTQ+ activists sue Florida over ‘relentless’ trans bathroom ban

A group of Floridian young adults protest the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks in the state.

A group of trans and non-binary activists have filed legal claims against Florida’s bathroom ban in an effort to brand it “unconstitutional.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights announced on Friday (29 September) that Six activists and a feminist group had, with help from legal counsel, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against Florida’s bathroom ban.

If passed, the restraining order would allow plaintiffs and other members of the community to use the bathroom while protesting against transphobia at the National March to Protect Trans Youth in Orlando on 7 October.

Trans woman and member of the organisation Women in Struggle, Melinda Butterfield, said that the protest is “long overdue” and that the order would allow it to go ahead without fear of prosecution.

She reportedly plans to fly to the state on 2 October where she will spend the week helping to prepare for the march. During that time, she will have to use the women’s bathrooms, risking arrest, but is scared to do so for fear of being confronted for simply using public facilities.

“The State of Florida believes it can eradicate the lives and identities of trans, gender nonconforming, intersex, and queer people through numerous pieces of legislation,” attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, Zee Scout, said in a statement.

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“This law is an unconstitutional reaction to the growing acceptance of these communities.

“This state cannot erase viewpoints that it dislikes. It cannot force people to accept its idea of sex and gender… It cannot demonise these communities by referring to them as ‘demons,’ ‘mutants,’ and ‘imps’.”

Florida lawmakers passed the bill banning trans and non-binary people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity in May where it was signed by Republican state governor, Ron DeSantis.

the bill’s passing marks yet another to be approved at a state level in the US since the beginning of 2023, with at least 568 anti-trans bills being introduced across 49 states in America.

The Transgender Rights Initiative director at Southern Legal Counsel, Simone Chriss, said that it was another “politically-motivated manoeuvre” in a “relentless” attack on trans Floridians.

“SLC denounces the state’s weaponisation of fear and misinformation to strip away the rights of [transgender, gender nonconforming, and intersex] Floridians under the guise of protecting others.”