Southeastern Yearly Meeting, gathered at our annual sessions, minuted our opposition to four recently enacted Florida laws that cause harm to LGBTQ people and people of color; and are a serious setback to building a just and compassionate society:
- ‘Parental Rights in Education,’ (aka the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, Florida HB1557)
- the ‘Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban,’ (HB 211)
- the License to Discriminate in Healthcare bill (so-called “Medical Conscience” bill, HB 747/SB 1820)
- ‘Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees Act’ (aka ‘Stop WOKE Act,’ )
The proposed minute was brought forward by Kody Hersh, in his Youth and Young Adult Coordinator report in our third plenary session on Friday. After some revisions, the following minute was approved in our last plenary on Sunday, April 17, 2022:
We are advised, as members of the Religious Society of Friends, of the truth to reach out to that of God in everyone. We endeavor to live out our testimonies in expected and unexpected circumstances of daily life, living in love and learning from one another.
Florida’s recently enacted “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the transgender youth medical care ban, the license to discriminate in health care bill, and the proposed “Stop Woke Act,” are not in unity with our testimonies. This legislation does not come from a place of love, and it inhibits opportunities to learn from one another and puts us in a position of vulnerability because of our practice and call to eliminate ignorance.
SEYM urges Friends to be bold in expressing opposition to this legislation that will deny the right of gender-questioning youth access to compassionate counseling and medical care and prohibits educators from teaching anything about America’s past or present which causes discomfort to any student.
Compliance with these laws will seriously inhibit the possibility of love, truth, and reconciliation which are prerequisites to attaining a just society of equals. For this reason, we call Friends and all Floridians to refuse to comply with these laws and to support the organizations, teachers, and physicians who choose to act in opposition to these laws.
SEYM Friends, Meetings and Worship Groups are welcome to adopt this minute, send it to local media, use it to write letters to the Editor, or as a reference to write their own statements.
Friends are directed to the Equality Florida website for more news and information