Orlando for Gender Equality urges city to counteract anti-trans bathroom law
Orlando, FL – On September 11, Orlando for Gender Equality mobilized for the Orlando city council meeting as part of their campaign to demand a guarantee of lowest possible enforcement for the anti-trans bathroom law passed by the state legislature earlier this year. The new law criminalizes transgender people for using the bathroom that aligns with their gender, with punishments including a $1000 fine or imprisonment for up to a year. This mobilization comes after a recent protest, hosted by OGE, against DeSantis’ hateful agenda of anti-trans sentiment and infringement on democratic rights.
Two representatives of Orlando for Gender Equality (OGE) spoke about their campaign and their demands. “We are urging the city council, as outlined in the city charter, to direct the chief of police to lower the priority of enforcement for the trans bathroom bill to the lowest possible degree,” said Jacob Muldoon, an organizer with OGE. He continued, “taking up this demand is a first step in counteracting these hateful laws passed by the state legislature.”
In response to the organizer’s speeches, the mayor called on the chief of police and asked him if enforcing this new law was a priority for the Orlando Police Department. The chief responded in the negative, but no guarantee was made about the application and enforcement of the law.
Additionally, the city council engaged in a dialogue about what they have been doing behind the scenes to counteract these bills, namely the addition of single-stall gender neutral bathrooms into the renovation of Lake Eola. When pressed on if the city will recognize October as LGBT History Month, no guarantee was given. Finally, the council urged the importance of voting and electing better state leaders that will not pass laws that preempt city actions and better local leaders who will be strong fighters against this repression.
This mobilization comes as the central Florida area has come under intense scrutiny by DeSantis and his administration, including state investigators being sent to drag shows, the recent suspension and replacement of State Attorney Monique H. Worrell and the preemption of a local rent stabilization measure.
“Duly elected representatives are being removed from office,” Commissioner Sheehan exclaimed, showing the chilling effect this state repression is having on the willingness for local leaders to take action.