A group of 16 attorneys general sent a letter to Florida governor Ron DeSantis Friday, raising concerns about a state plan to collect data on transgender and gender-nonconforming students, specifically seeking details on how those students have interacted with campus health centers.
“This information request may be intended to intimidate, and will actually intimidate, university administrators and health care providers and chill vulnerable students, including the students or staff in Florida’s state university system who are citizens of our States, from accessing necessary medical care,” read the letter. “Further, public reports suggest that you may seek to use the information sought to eliminate funding for necessary gender-affirming health care for students. This would be in keeping with your prior actions targeting the LGBTQIA community, and particularly transgender youth, such as cutting off funding under Medicaid for gender-affirming care and calling upon the Florida Board of Medicine to prohibit use of puberty blockers and other gender-affirming care for people under 18.”
The letter was signed by New York attorney general Letitia James, who reportedly led the effort, according to a news release from her office, along with her counterparts from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington.
LGBTQ+ rights have emerged as a flashpoint in Florida recently, with the state limiting instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 classrooms through its Parental Rights in Education bill, which opponents of the legislation derisively dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.