Parents of LGBTQ students express concerns about House Bill 1223

The new Florida bill would restrict use of gender pronouns in schools
Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 17:50:27-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Lacy Larson laid it on the line.

"I'm disappointed again, I'm heartbroken again," she said.

As a parent of a young teen who is a member of the LGBTQ community, she said House Bill 1223 is appalling.

"It is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, as a parent, to want to continue to advocate for the safety, mental health and wellness of the education of your child," she said.

The bill, filed Tuesday by Rep. Adam Anderson, R-Palm Harbor, would essentially restrict the use of gender pronouns in school.

HB 1223 would define sex as the "binary division of individuals based upon reproductive function."

The bill would also mandate "that a person's sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that doesn't not correspond to such person's sex."

Larson said the bill is based on intolerance.

Compass Community Center Executive Director Julie Seaver 03012023.jpg
Compass Community Center Executive Director Julie Seaver explains the impacts of HB 1223 to kids in the LGBTQ community.

"These show our kids that hate is alive and well that bias is alive and well," she said.

The Compass Community Center based in Lake Worth Beach has had a youth program for over three decades.

Executive Director Julie Seaver said legislation like HB 1223 is unhealthy to kids in the LGBTQ community.

"This expansion of this very, harmful bill is detrimental to the mental health and behavioral wellness of our kids," she said.

Seaver said there are studies showing families with kids in the LGBTQ community are moving out of Florida.

"I mean all parents want our kids to be happy, healthy, and safe and it feels to me like the state of Florida can't make those promises anymore," she said.

Larson said LGBTQ youth already have to deal with bullying, and that HB1223 will do nothing but complicate things even more.

"This will be a really big hit to these students," she said. "It's not going to go well."