TALLAHASSEE – As arguments surrounding the transgender bathroom bill rages on, State Senator Shevrin Jones (D-FL) was able to provide his thoughts concerning the legislation which looks to enforce Floridians to use the bathroom assigned to them at birth.
Outside the Florida House of Representatives, protests were boisterous but did not make their way into the chamber.
At one point, chants included “Randy Fine, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” referring to Representative Randy Fine (R-FL), who stated last week that he was in favor of “erasing a community” (referring to the LGBT community or any community) if that group was looking to target children.
Sen. Jones gave his thoughts concerning the protests directed toward Rep. Fine.
“Let me say this: I don’t believe in any attacks on any legislator. I just want to make sure I put that on the table. But when we file legislation that infringes on people’s rights, people get upset. 'Protests are the voices of the unheard.’ And that is a very popular saying by Dr. King. And I think those individuals have the right [to protest]. This is their House, and this is their building, and they have the right to be here especially if they feel as their rights are being infringed on,” stated Sen. Jones.
Speaker Paul Renner (R-FL) addressed the possibility of protests and chirps from the gallery before the proceeding began, saying that the freedom of speech is a God-given right, but that the “chamber is where we do business.”
We asked Jones for his thoughts concerning the legislation that is expected to make its way to Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) desk, HB 1521 and SB 1674, both titled the Facility Requirements Based on Sex bill.
“The attack that is happening with the transgender community, it’s putting a lot of fear within the transgender community where they feel they cannot live freely here within the state of Florida, because of these various culture wars that we are presenting here in Tallahassee.”
Sen. Jones would go on to mention that the bills that are currently en route to the Governor’s desk regarding the transgender community are brought forward with the supposed motivation of “protecting children.” However, Jones believes that the current pieces of legislation are not being brought forward with the right intentions.
“I think whether it’s the bathroom bill, whether it’s gender reassignment, there’s all of this being put in the name of protecting children, protecting Floridians which reasonable minds agree that that’s the thing we should be doing. But how far do we go to where we are then infringing on people’s human rights? I think that’s something that we need to take into consideration as we are passing legislation like this, and in making sure that we are passing legislation in good faith.”
Sen. Jones also gave his general comments regarding the culture wars related to the transgender community nationwide, such as the recent Bud Light fiasco, which saw Dylan Mulvaney, a popular transgender actress become a spokesperson for the brand and sparked boycotts of the light beer nationwide.
“I think that we’re taking our focus off of things that’s important. And then the Republicans were very, very adamant about the idea of cancel culture. It’s amazing to see that they’re doing the same thing. This whole saying, ‘Go woke, go broke.’ I mean, that is just the type of environment that is being created within this country,” stated Jones.
Finally, we asked Sen. Jones about the historic flooding in Ft. Lauderdale which has led to a gas shortage in the area. Some stations were completely out of fuel and the ones that had fuel to sell experienced long lines, according to WSVN 7.
Sen. Jones asked, “Where’s the Governor?”
“The Governor is traveling the country, campaigning and Broward County is damn near underwater. That’s not a Democrat Republican issue. That’s just the right thing that any person who’s leading the state of 22 million people should be doing at this moment, but that’s just not happening.”
The Facility Requirements Based on Sex bill is expected to pass tomorrow.