ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: florida

Florida Bill Further Restricts Abortion Access

A lot of crazy stuff comes out of Florida. We even have a Twitter called “Florida Man” for all those ridiculous headlines (“Florida Man Seen Riding Around Town With Iguanas Duct-Taped to Bicycle;” “Florida Man Steals $85,000 Worth of Pizza Cheese”). But in the past few weeks, the crazy stuff that’s been happening is more sigh-inducing than laugh-worthy. Florida has banned using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” by state employees. A discriminatory transgender “bathroom bill” has passed a second House committee. And passed by the House in the last week: a bill that would require a waiting period before having an abortion. According to the Florida House of Representatives, HB633 “revises conditions for voluntary and informed consent to termination of pregnancy.” The bill was approved by the House… Read more »

Proposed Florida Law Bans Transgender People From Bathrooms

A couple weeks ago, something truly awful happened in Florida. State Representative Frank Artiles filed a bill, HB 583, that “requires that use of single-sex facilities be restricted to persons of sex for which facility is designed.” Basically, the bill targets transgender individuals and is meant to stop them from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Under the bill, a transgender man would have to use the women’s bathroom—something which can be both dangerous physically and mentally. BuzzFeed spoke with Artiles, who said that, “People are not forced to go to the restroom. They choose to go to the restroom.” Which is about as stupid as saying, “People are not forced to breathe air. They choose to breathe air.” For example, if you have an eight-hour work… Read more »

Florida Set for Marriage Equality

Florida has a lot of great things: fresh citrus, Disney World and some really nice beaches. But on January 5, we might get something even better—the right for same-sex couples to marry! U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in favor of marriage equality in Florida on August 21. The ruling was in regards to two federal marriage cases, Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley and Albu v. Scott. Brenner v. Scott was filed on behalf of a same-sex couple trying to have their Canadian marriage recognized by the state. If the couple’s marriage was not recognized, they could not designate each other as spouses for a retirement benefits program. In response to the cases, Hinkle ordered an injunction for Florida’s same-sex marriage ban, recognizing it as unconstitutional. This would also… Read more »

In Florida, Students’ Safety Should be More Important than Sports

Florida has a reputation for a few things—citrus, hurricanes, Gator World, and, unfortunately, our lack of investigations on college sexual assault. I’m referring specifically to the Florida State University’s case involving star football player Jameis Winston. A little refresher on the case: a female FSU student reported that she was sexually assaulted in December 2012. She did not know the name of her attacker, but realized it was Winston, who had not played in any football games yet, when she saw him in class. In February 2013, after barely any investigation, Tallahassee police shelved the case. What happened next is a little more well-known. After nine months of sitting on information, Tallahassee police gave the state attorney the report. They started an investigation, but it seemed as though Florida State… Read more »

Assaults Interrupt Education of University of Florida Women

I’ve spent more time in the past week researching personal safety apps, the likes of Kitestring and TapShield, than I have studying for my classes. It’s only the third week of the semester and already, four assaults have been reported at the University of Florida, the school that I attend and the school where I used to feel safe. We have a text alert system here at UF and it’s disconcerting how many recent nights I’ve received a string of texts beginning with “battery just occurred.” The suspect in all four cases is the same, according to the text alerts we’ve gotten. A white, 6’ 4”, 200 pound man, it’s no wonder that he’s been easily able to empower all his victims. All four women—of various builds and looks, according… Read more »

New Year, New Florida: Domestic Partnership on the Horizon

Over the past few years, the movement for LGBTQ equality has made some tremendous progress throughout the country. With the number of states that allow same-sex marriage nearly doubling in 2013, and the landmark decision of Windsor v. the United States this past summer, it’s hard to believe that the movement is still barreling forward with the same speed and determination. Before Christmas, State House Representative Linda Stewart introduced a state domestic partnership registry bill. This is huge! In Florida, where no protection for queer people exists on the state level, it’s been hard to watch such successes create waves throughout the country that continue to not touch me. But with this Stewart’s bill gaining support from other pro-equality politicians as well as the public, Florida’s disposition toward the queer… Read more »

Feminism Isn’t an Invitation Only Party

Yesterday I read an opinion article by a colleague that caused me a bit of distress. In the article she discussed issues of restricted access to abortion as well as feminism in general, saying that men need to stay out both, using a bit more colorful and trans* shaming language. It struck me then that people truly believed that men have no place in the feminist movement. I’m worried. I’m worried because

ENDA May Not Mean the End of Job Discrimination

The fight for same sex marriage has consumed the public’s mind in the past few years. With the ruling on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 this past summer many people have gotten tunnel vision, focusing all their efforts to marriage equality. I’ll be the first to admit that there isn’t anything wrong with this. Marriage equality is an issue very dear to many people, both queer and heteronormative. But another issue looms on the horizon for the queer community and that is job protection.

Why Anti-Choice Groups are Afraid of Students…and They Should Be

Yesterday, the University of Central Florida (UCF) was paid a visit by the not so pleasant anti-choice organization Created Equal. They came toting large A-frames of doctored and extremely graphic images that they claimed to be “real abortions”, and literature urging women to bring a stop to this “modern Holocaust”. Now, personally the second I hear some compare anything to the Holocaust that isn’t…you know…THE HOLOCAUST I tune out and write them off. But it pained me to watch my fellow students

An Open Letter to Senator Marco Rubio

Senator, as I am sure you are aware, it was forty years ago that the landmark court case of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States. But as I see my fellow low-income women, women of color, and queer women repeatedly denied not only abortion care access under the Hyde Amendment but also access to comprehensive sex education across our state I am personally reminded of the absolute worthlessness that Roe has to us because of you and other anti-choice politicians. I understand that you “feel very strongly about this issue”, Senator. But I must admit it’s rather curious to me that you wish to lead a 20 week abortion ban when less than two percent of abortions take place after 20 weeks, according to a study released… Read more »