Florida Conservatives Keen on Passing Public Gay-Flag Ban

Florida Conservatives Keen on Passing Public Gay-Flag Ban

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
December 29, 2023

Florida Republican Legislators have introduced sister bills in the state Senate and House of Representatives that would prohibit state and local governments from displaying certain flags. 

Senator Jonathan Martin (R-33) filed the senate version of the bill yesterday, December 28th. 

The bill specifically prohibits displaying flags that represent “a political viewpoint, including, but not limited to, a politically partisan, racial, sexual orientation and gender, or political ideology.”

Under Senator Martin’s bill, any unit of local government, including public schools, public colleges, and public universities, would be prohibited from displaying LGBTQ flags. 

Individuals’ First Amendment rights to exercise speech and other forms of expression are explicitly exempt from Martin’s proposed legislation.  

“The governmental entity must remain neutral when representing political viewpoints in displaying or erecting a flag,” continues the bill. 

Earlier in December, Miami State Rep. David Borrero (R) filed the House version of the public Gay-flag ban.

However, as the Floridian’s Javier Manjarres explained, the ban would also apply to any politically-charged flags. Such flags could include Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, Pride, or Confederate flags.

Martin has filed numerous bills in anticipation of the upcoming 2024 legislative session. 

Recently, Martin filed a bill that would protect public monuments, including Confederate memorials, from being removed or relocated without legislative approval. 

Senator Jay Collins (R) filed a companion bill in the Florida Senate that allowed for POW-MIA flags, flags of foreign nations, and flags of the branches of the United States Armed Forces, to be flown.

Borrero's measure allows for the U.S., Florida, POW-MIA, and Firefighter Memorial flags to be hoisted.

Recently, Martin filed another bill that  would alter Florida law regarding how immunization requirements are to be adopted and expand potential exemptions to them.

Per the bill, the Florida Department of Health (FDH) and any other state or local authorities would be prohibited from imposing any vaccine requirements without legislative approval.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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