Friday, June 30, 2023

Reflections on Pride Month 2023

 Letters to the editor

Rand Hoch, West Palm Beach
Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

The struggle continues

Rand Hock
Founder Palm Beach County HRC

As Pride Month draws to a close, this week’s editorial acknowledges that “the struggle against bigotry and hate continues.”

During the 2023 legislative session, Florida lawmakers passed six cruel and unnecessary anti-LGBTQ+ bills, including one to prevent trans Floridians from accessing gender-affirming care. While state politicians claimed to be focused on “protecting” young Floridians, the law also denied trans adults the right to make their own healthcare decisions – and the financial resources for care they have relied on for years.

The 9,000 transgender Floridians receiving healthcare through Medicaid received a temporary reprieve when U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee issued a temporary injunction preventing the law (SB 254) from taking immediate effect. The judge let Gov. DeSantis and Republican legislators know unequivocally that gender identity is real.

However, Judge Hinkle does not have the last word. It is likely that the state will challenge his decision and waste tax dollars on litigation to once again harm trans Floridians.

This Pride Month has been marked by a culture of fear and repression in Florida. But the temporary injunction against the ban is a hopeful sign. As the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council celebrates our 35th year of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, we will continue to work for a complete reversal of the ban.

Rand Hoch, West Palm Beach


My Note: I proudly serve on the Board of The Palm Beach Human Rights Council (PBHRC) as Assistant Secretary.  Thank you Rand for your tireless support to all member of the Palm Beach LGBTQ+ community.  

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