Florida Legislature Passing New Laws

The Florida Legislature passing new laws has drawn support well as plenty of criticism. From voting laws to transgender athletes, political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, Ph.D. joins CBS affiliate WINK News to discuss.

Florida kicked off the new year with a myriad of new laws.  But recently it has undertaken some bigger more controversial Bills.

There has been a lot of activity in GOP legislatures across the country. Most recently, the anti-riot laws have been a big debate.  The right claims it is for security to protect property and people, with the left claiming it is meant as suppression of 1st amendment rights.

Now, on the heels of Georgia passing new voting rules,  Florida has followed in their wake and approved a voting Bill of their own. And yet the debate seems to follow the same theme. The right claims it is to tighten security and increase voting integrity. Despite their own (Georgia) GOP Governor, Secretary of State, and dozens of GOP officials citing how to secure the 2020 election was, these new rules were signed into law.

Florida too is making the same case: “protection of election security”. Critics of the Bill call it a blatant act of voter suppression.

The legislature in Florida also took a swing at transgender athletes. After a Bill to limit transgender students from sports was bounced around in the House, the Bill passed the House and Senate recently.

The Bill prohibits transgender girls from participating in female sports, limiting them to coed-only teams.  The Herald-Tribune noted that this was in lockstep with a nationwide push by the GOP to suppress transgender teens. Many, including the NCAA, has called it “cruel.”

There are two main points I think worth pointing out.

  1. when transgender kids transition in their teens and begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT), they don’t differ much, if at all, in strength and endurance from any of the other girls. But, they most definitely are far less muscular than other boys.
  2. there are only about 3% of teens in America that identify as gender nonconforming, and only a fraction of them identify as transgender, with a fraction of them actually in transition. Given those numbers, this seems to be a big dance about nothing. Not passing it allows the transgender girl some sense of life and student participation, while barely impacting anyone else. But passing it devastates the transgender girl and still has virtually no impact on everyone else.

Florida Legislature Passing New Laws

In this segment, Dr. Rossi discusses the psychological impact of these and other topics.



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