November 30, 2023
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)’s Statement on Florida’s House Bill 599
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) condemns the Florida Senate’s House Bill 599 (HB 599) on Gender Identity Employment Practices. The bill prohibits the identification and use of preferred pronouns in the workplace, as well as bar employers from requiring employees to be trained on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. NHMC stands in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, and as a civil and human rights organization committed to eliminating hate and discrimination, we are appalled by the bill’s discriminatory nature to restrict LGBTQIA+ individuals’ freedom of expression.
If passed, HB 599 will have drastic effects on the livelihoods of LGBTQIA+ people, further isolating the community within Florida. Last March, the Florida Legislature passed HB 1557, the “‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill”, prohibiting instruction on sexual orientation and identity at public schools throughout the state. The increase in hate-motivated legislation targeting a community solely based on sexual orientation and gender expression is extremely harmful and must come to an immediate halt.
As a woman-led non-profit organization, NHMC supports and partners with other non-profit organizations committed to doing the desperately needed work to bring equity to oppressed communities. We urge Rep. Ryan Chamberlin and Florida lawmakers to take a stand against gender discrimination and oppose HB 599 as the legislation will eliminate gender and sexual orientation-based protections in the workplace, making it extremely challenging for LGBTQIA+ non-profit organizations to continue operating and addressing issues the LGBTQIA+ community faces. Ultimately HB 599 will erase the LGBTQIA+ community’s efforts to a more equitable country, making this already vulnerable community invisible in Florida.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition