Governor Ron DeSantis To Target Trans Rights in Florida Universities?

Toby Hazlewood

Governor looks set to clamp down on healthcare funding for universities where gender reassignment is supported.
Governor Ron DeSantisPhoto byTwitter of GovRonDeSantis

January has been a busy month for Florida's Governor. In the latest of a number of somewhat controversial, anti-liberal moves, a memo became public, dated January 11, from DeSantis' Office and Budget Policy Director Chris Spencer. It was addressed to all 12 Florida State University System institutions and requested various data related to “persons suffering from gender dysphoria” who have sought care at a state university-funded health facility.

A four-page document accompanying the memo, also compels the institutions to supply a wealth of data from as far back as 2018, including the number of people diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the number who sought gender-affirming surgeries and medications, how many received behavioral health services in addition to gender-affirming care, and comprehensive breakdowns of each sub-category.

What's the agenda here?

According to Spencer's memo, the official reason for the data collection is to ensure school administrators are “governing institutional resources and protecting the public interest” appropriately. In practice though, it seems likely to be the first step towards removing funding for any institution that offers such care, much like the ban already in effect for Florida Medicaid programs.

In response to the memo, Brandon Wolf, Press Secretary for Equality Florida said in a statement:

This is another example of DeSantis using his office to attempt to intimidate colleges and universities into becoming less inclusive of their students for his political gain. Those institutions should continue providing affirming services for all students despite the governor's attempts to intimidate them.

Protector of Freedoms?

DeSantis is keen to publicise his commitment to freedom and preservation of the free state of Florida. However, this latest move to unearth details of funding and potentially restrict Trans rights to state healthcare within universities, appears to be the latest in a flurry of anti-liberal, anti-Woke maneuvers:

It seems that DeSantis' concern for the protection of freedoms may only extend to those that support his conservative anti-Woke agenda?

It will be interesting to see the extent to which Florida's state funding is shaped in the forthcoming March legislative sessions, following DeSantis' moves to suppress the so-called culture of 'woke' in sport, education and industry in Florida.

What's your view? Is DeSantis appropriately representing the views of Floridians with his staunchly anti-Woke, anti-liberal stance? Is this standpoint likely to enhance or hinder his success in the anticipated presidential candidacy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below?

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