Trans kids could be legally kidnapped by parents under proposed Florida law: report
LGBTQ advocates wave a rainbow flag (Wikimedia Commons)

Parents would be allowed to kidnap their children and take them out of state if they are receiving gender-affirming care or are considered “at risk” of receiving such care under a proposed Florida law, Vice News reports.

Under the bill Republican state Sen. Clay Yarborough introduced Friday, any court could intervene if a child is receiving gender-affirming care, the report said.

The bill is part of a package of so-called “parental empowerment and child safety legislation” that includes a ban on instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity for students through Grade 8, and requiring licensed health care facilities to attest that they do not provide sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures to patients under 18 years of age, the State Senate’s office announced in a news release.

The package also includes a provision authorizing the state to “fine, suspend, or revoke the license of any public lodging establishment or public food service establishment if the establishment admits a child to a live adult performance that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, or lewd exposure.”

Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic in a tweet described the measure as a “full elimination of recognition and a limitation on access to care for all trans people, including adults.”

“A transphobic parent could kidnap their trans child in violation of custody agreements and abscond to Florida and be protected by Florida law under this despite likely committing felony kidnapping in their home state,” Caraballo said.

The proposed bill is the latest among a string of measures targeting trans youth. Mississippi, Utah, and South Dakota in the last month have approved bans on health care providers offering gender-affirming care to minors, the report said.

Yarborough said the bill aims to protect children from what he described as a “radical, prurient agenda.”

“This legislation sends a strong message that Florida is a safe place to raise children. As the father of four young boys, I know that childhood is as special as it is short. Florida parents are worried about the radical, prurient agenda that has become pervasive across most forms of media, specifically targeting young children,” Yarborough said in a statement.

“We need to let kids be kids, and our laws need to set appropriate boundaries that respect the rights and responsibilities of parents, while protecting children from the serious health, safety, and welfare consequences of social agendas that are totally inconsistent with how the overwhelming majority of parents want to raise their children.”