Florida Bills that Would Ban Pride Flags and Protect Confederate Monuments May Be Dead

Credits: Advocate.com

Controversial bills in Florida aimed at preserving historical monuments and restricting the display of certain flags have hit roadblocks in the state Senate, with Senate President Kathleen Passidomo indicating that they are unlikely to move forward.

The first bill, SB 1122, intended to prevent the removal or destruction of historical monuments from public property, has faced opposition due to concerns that it could prevent the removal of Confederate memorials.

Passidomo expressed doubts about the bill’s future, particularly after contentious comments made by supporters during a committee meeting on February 6, which she described as “vile” and “bigoted.”

Pride Flags of Florida (Credits: Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)

Passidomo emphasized that while the bill itself is not controversial, it has been “weaponized” by both sides of the debate. She stated, “That’s not how we run our chamber, that’s not how we pass our legislation, at least for me. And so, at this point, I don’t see that bill coming back.”

The second bill, SB 1120, aimed to restrict the flying of flags representing political viewpoints at government buildings and public schools. Critics argued that the bill was targeting the display of LGBTQ pride flags.

The bill stalled in the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee and is unlikely to progress further, as the committee will not meet again before the end of the legislative session on March 8.

Both bills have garnered support from Governor Ron DeSantis, who has advocated for preserving monuments and restricting certain flag displays. However, without further action in the Senate, their future remains uncertain.

The House versions of these bills have seen some progress, with HB 395, the monuments bill, clearing its initial committee last month, and HB 901, the flags bill, being approved by a subcommittee. However, their fate ultimately depends on the Senate’s decision.

The bills’ sponsors, including Senator Jonathan Martin, have defended the proposals, arguing that they aim to protect American monuments and prevent the display of politically divisive flags. However, the bills have sparked significant debate and are unlikely to advance in their current form.

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