Florida Bill Aims to Criminalise Calling Someone 'Homophobic'

A bill in the American state of Florida aims to make it punishable to call someone "homophobic," "transphobic," or "racist." Even if the accusation is accurate, a fine of at least $35,000 must be paid.
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The Law, SB 1780, was introduced earlier this year by Republican state senator Jason Brodeur. According to the law, accusing someone of discriminating based on race, gender, sexual preference, or gender identity is punishable as defamation. Thus, anyone making such an accusation, whether true or not, could face a fine of $35,000. This applies to accusations in mainstream media as well as on social media. There are also limitations for journalists. Using anonymous sources to support these accusations will no longer be allowed. Anonymous sources are deemed "materially false" under the law, making it easier for journalists to be sued.

According to American media, legal experts are sceptical about the feasibility of the law. It is likely to be challenged in court as it would restrict freedom of speech.

However, this is not the first anti-LGBT+ law in Florida that attempts to limit the expression of LGBT+ individuals. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has classified eleven bills in Florida as anti-LGBT+ since the beginning of the year. The state is notorious for the number of LGBT+-related bills proposed. One of these, the 'don't say gay' law, prohibits government institutions from educating minors about LGBT+ topics.

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