Resistance Report Week 5: Victory on the Frontlines


We’re past the halfway point of Florida’s 60-day legislative session — and the tide is turning! 


Your Pride at the Capitol team unlocked a major victory this week: The Pride Flag Ban Bill was stopped from moving forward in the Florida Senate! This means the bill is most likely dead in the Senate. 


We celebrate this victory alongside the numerous individuals, like YOU, who spoke out against this bill and highlighted its underlying intent to demonize and censor the LGBTQ community.

We anticipated that this legislative session would be our most challenging to date, and the Equality Florida team remains committed to standing firm in every battle. We promise to keep you updated at every turn, providing you with the resources you need to join us in this crucial fight.


This week, we weren’t just showing up inside the Capitol, we also joined Yes on 4 Florida at the State Supreme Court to hear oral arguments on “The Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion.” Our team is here in Tallahassee showing support for the abortion ballot amendment and our right to bodily autonomy! We are in this fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures. Now, we wait for the Florida Supreme Court decision to be released by April 1.

In other frontline news: Grassroots organizers are courageously protesting the state’s cruelty at DMV locations across Florida today. These demonstrations are a powerful rebuke to the politically motivated agency action and legislation that would strip transgender Floridians of their ability to get accurate driver's licenses and threaten them with criminal penalties, endangering them and making the state more hostile to their existence. By standing up and demanding a reversal of the discriminatory memo issued by the state and opposing the anti-transgender legislation being pushed forward by the majority in the Capitol, these activists are amplifying the urgent need for change. We stand in solidarity with them as they fight for equality and justice for all.

Our Pride At The Capitol program remains a vital part of our strategy to fight harmful legislation and gear up for potential legal battles against any that become law.

This effort greatly depends on the backing of pro-equality champions like YOU. Your engagement in Tallahassee by sharing your experiences and public comment in committee hearings is essential. We are committed to fighting back throughout the entire 60-day legislative session, but it's your support that truly makes a difference. Find a Pride At The Capitol Day that works for you.

If you can’t join us in person, please consider a donation to help us get as many people to Tallahassee as possible. Every dollar counts! 

We will never stop fighting back. And we’ll continue to make headlines by resisting and making our voices heard. 

This week’s WINNERS are Senators Tina Polsky and Tracie Davis for their heroic efforts to help stop the Pride Flag Ban bill from moving forward in the Senate. Their statements highlighted just how sweeping the impacts would be for ALL Floridians, and we’re so grateful that they stood alongside us in this fight. 


Our LOSERS of the week are bigots and white supremacists. During the hearing on the Pride Flag Ban bill, John Labriola with the Christian Family Coalition unabashedly revealed the bill’s true intentions by likening LGBTQ Floridians to demons and perpetuating hateful tropes. This bill was clearly designed to slander an entire community with baseless and malicious lies. Labriola’s history speaks volumes about the kind of discrimination LGBTQ individuals face. His reprehensible actions, such as losing his job in April 2021 after he wrote an opinion article opposing a proposed federal law, the Equality Act, which would have prohibited discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, and education, exemplify the bigotry that still exists in our society. Additionally, white supremacists came out in force to support a bill that would protect Confederate monuments across the state. Their bigotry was on full display during a committee hearing this week and will likely be the reason why this bill won’t make it over the finish line this session.

In addition to our victory in the Senate, Week 5 of legislative session was also filled with more movement on bad bills, so we’re going to take you through exactly what happened, what’s coming, and how you can get involved.  


🚨The Transgender Erasure Bill (HB 1639)🚨

Sponsors: Reps. Doug Bankson and Dean Black

  • What it does: The Trans Erasure Bill is a sweeping new assault on the rights and dignity of transgender Floridians that seeks to further disenfranchise the community, create costly new barriers to accessing lifesaving care, and increases Floridians' insurance premiums, LGBTQ or not. The bill requires all health insurance plans in the state to cover the widely debunked, fraudulent and dangerous practice of “conversion therapy,” specifically for gender identity. Additionally, it requires that government driver license and ID card applications collect information on applicants’ sex assigned at birth rather than their gender.
  • What’s coming: HB 1639 is now awaiting a hearing in the House Infrastructure Strategies Committee, its final committee stop before it heads to the House floor for a full vote. It’s likely to be scheduled for this coming Thursday’s agenda! 
  • How you can help: We need you to contact members of the House Infrastructure Strategies Committee right away and urge them to vote NO on HB 1639. Click here to send a message. 


Pride Flag Ban Bill (HB 901/SB 1120)

Sponsors: Rep. David Borrero, Rep. Randy Fine, and Sen. Jonathan Martin 

  • What it does: Flags have historically been used to connect communities as an expression of free speech. The Pride Flag Ban Bill bans public buildings from raising or displaying any flag that represents a “political viewpoint,” including Pride Flags. This is one more part of the Desantis's agenda of censorship. Born largely from far-right activists protesting LGBTQ pride flags on government buildings, it attacks visibility in public spaces and classrooms for all minority groups.
  • What happened: Together, we achieved a significant victory in defeating the Florida Senate bill aimed at banning the rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBTQ defiance against discrimination. The bill's collapse, particularly during the committee hearing, was influenced by our in-person opposition, Senators Tina Polsky and Tracie Davis’ strong pushback, and the Christian Family Coalition’s comments openly demeaning LGBTQ Floridians and revealing the bill's discriminatory intent. This victory is a testament to the power of our collective resistance! 
  • How you can help: The fight is not over! The House version of this bill could still move forward. Its next committee stop is the House State Affairs Committee. Click here to send messages to members of that Committee urging them to oppose HB 901. 

The Defamation & Censorship Bill (HB 757/SB 1780, SB 1086)

Sponsors: Rep. Alex Andrade and Sen. Jason Brodeur

  • What it does: The Defamation & Censorship bills are part of Governor DeSantis's effort to chill any free speech that is critical of the government, punish the media, and reverse Supreme Court precedent. They make it easier to sue the media or members of the public over criticism of public officials and others. SB 1780 specifically undermines efforts to expose sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. Making these allegations "defamation per se'' improperly assumes such claims are false and defamatory.  Racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are real, but this bill reduces the evidence that a defendant can use to prove the allegation is true.
  • What happened: SB 1780 PASSED out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week with a critical amendment to address LGBTQ concerns. Following an outcry from our supporters and advocates, the provisions making it harder to expose sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia have been removed. Now it heads to the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee for its final stop before reaching the Senate floor. HB 757 also passed out of its second committee this week, the Regulatory Reform & Economic Development Subcommittee, and now heads to its final committee stop in the House Judiciary.

  • How you can help: While the LGBTQ-specific issues have been addressed, Equality Florida will remain vigilant as these two amended bills move through the legislative process. 

The “Stop WOKE Teacher Training” Bill (SB 1372/HB 1291)

Sponsors: Sen. Blaise Ingoglia and Rep. John Snyder

  • What it does: These bills would expand state censorship of viewpoints on racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege to State Board of Education’s teacher training and preparation courses for public and private postsecondary institutions, public school districts, and private providers. They build on existing harms created by DeSantis’ so-called Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which federal courts have partially put on hold, while further restricting the ability of educators to lead 21st century classrooms with honest and accurate discussions that reckon with our past to create a better future for our students.
  • What happened: SB 1372 PASSED out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Education. It now heads to its final committee stop, the Senate Rules Committee, before heading to the Senate floor. HB 1291 PASSED out of the Education & Employment Committee, its FINAL committee stop. It will now head to the House floor for a final vote. 

  • How you can help: We need you to contact members of the Senate Rules Committee and ALL House members urging them to vote NO on SB 1372/HB 1291. Click here to send messages.

The Juvenile Justice Package (HB 1425/SB 1352)

Sponsors: Rep. Taylor Yarkosky and Sen. Jennifer Bradley

  • What it does: Among various reforms, the Juvenile Justice Package mandates inferior treatment for transgender youth, who would be denied access to programming, services, interventions, and facilities that affirm their gender identities, and would instead be classified under this bill according to their sex assigned at birth, potentially suffering worse outcomes as a result. 
  • What happened: HB 1425 PASSED out of the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee this week. It now heads to its third and final committee, the House Judiciary Committee. SB 1352 also PASSED out of the Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice this week with a 9-0 vote. It now heads to its third and final committee, the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee. 

In addition to the bad bills that moved this week or are scheduled to be heard next week, we also need to keep up the pressure on the bills, both bad AND good, that may move later this session. 




We’re keeping up the pressure on lawmakers to support and co-sponsor these bills, and we need your help. 


🏆 The PEP Access Bill (HB 159/SB 1320) 🏆

Sponsors: Rep. Gallop Franklin and Sen. Alexis Calatayud

  • What it does: These bills facilitate greater access to medications that are critical to preventing HIV transmission by allowing pharmacists to dispense PEP under physician-developed protocols. The legislation recognizes the tremendous scientific advances in the fight to combat HIV and AIDS and allows people to take personal responsibility for their health, an important step towards ending Florida’s HIV epidemic.
  • What happened: SB 1320 PASSED out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services. Next, SB 1320 heads to the Senate Rules Committee, its third and final committee stop. 

  • How you can help: We need you to contact members of the Senate Rules Committee and the House Health & Human Services Committee to urge them to vote YES on SB 1320/HB 159. Click here to send a message. 

🏆 The Health Care Freedom Act (SB 1404/HB 1283) 🏆

Sponsors: Rep. Anna V. Eskamani and Sen. Shevrin Jones

  • Restores Reproductive Rights: Repeals Governor DeSantis’ 15-Week and 6-Week Abortion Bans, reinstating abortion access up until the start of the third trimester, in line with broader medical and legal standards.
  • Protects Medical Care For Transgender People: Eliminates restrictions on essential medical care for transgender individuals, ensuring access to treatments supported by leading medical authorities like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.

🏆 Freedom to Learn Act (SB 1414/HB 1355) 🏆

Sponsors: Rep. Michele Rayner and Sen. Tracie Davis

  • Safeguards Academic Freedom: Repeals provisions of the Stop WOKE Act and the “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law, protecting the right to discuss systemic injustices and LGBTQ topics in educational settings.
  • Promotes Inclusive Education: Requires the inclusion of LGBTQ history in public education, alongside Holocaust education, African American history, and women's contributions, and restricts book-banning practices by limiting who can raise objections to school materials to only parents of public school students.

Click here to send a message to lawmakers urging them to support the two Freedom bills. 




Don’t Say Gay or Trans at Work (HB 599/SB 1382)

Sponsors: Rep. Ryan Chamberlin and Sen. Jonathan Martin

  • Expands Don’t Say Gay or Trans to the Workplace: Aims to expand provisions of the  Don’t Say Gay or Trans law into public and private workplaces and nonprofits. This alarming expansion of political control and censorship will prohibit government employees or contractors from being required to respect an individual's preferred pronouns if they don’t align with the individual's sex assigned at birth. It also bars them from sharing their own preferred pronouns if not aligned with their sex assigned at birth, which significantly impacts transgender employees’ ability to express their identity.
  • Restricts LGBTQ+ Nonprofits and Education: The bill seeks to ban tax-exempt nonprofits or employers receiving state funds from conducting any “activities” or training related to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression as a condition of employment. It also introduces protections for so-called "biology-based beliefs," essentially providing a legal shield for discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals. This could have dire consequences for LGBTQ+ organizations and advocacy groups in Florida, potentially forcing them to cease operations or significantly alter their missions.


Click here to send a message to lawmakers urging them to oppose this bad bill. 

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our RESIST merch – an easy way to send a message that we are all Floridians, and we aren’t going anywhere! We have pins, shirts, and flags that you can wear proudly to show your support. Click here to check out our online store! 

As we continue on over the next 28 days, we must remember that our voices matter, our actions matter, and our movement matters.


Make sure you’re following us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and TikTok for the latest updates. 



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