Recently, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles quietly directed a memo to their driver’s license issuing agents that transgender Floridians can no longer change their driver’s license gender marker.
The LGBTQIA+ Equity Advocacy Committee believes this regressive change is the latest in a series of discriminatory attacks by the State of Florida against not only transgender people, but the LGBTQIA+ community at large.
We believe that our constitutional right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is a broad, inclusive statement that includes the right of a citizen to self-identify their gender identity, regardless of birth sex.
This matters because gender identity has no bearing on the ability of a person to operate any vehicle, nor does it alter any responsibility for any highway or motor vehicle safety violations. This gender identity restriction was directed to solely target the identification of drivers outside the scope of motor vehicles, thereby intentionally imposing a state identity onto an individual citizen. History has repeatedly shown that such freedom-inhibiting directives, left unchallenged, will extend to state-imposed identification upon couples, groups, and organizations, posing a serious threat to the existence of the LGBTQIA+ Community, among others.
We call upon all of our elected officials to clearly denounce this cowardly, hidden-in-a-memo action designed to curb the civil rights and freedoms of transgender people. We call upon elected officials in Florida to vote against Florida’s, HB 1639, which would similarly effect transgender Floridians. We also strongly encourage each PCUSA member and regular attendee to deeply reflect upon similar inhibiting rules within our denomination.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.” Gal 3:28