Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., laid out a conservative blueprint this week for a GOP takeover of Congress, and included in his “11-Point Plan to Rescue America” are a number of proposals that would limit the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
The document outlines Republican policy objectives on everything from the economy to abortion, but the point that caused the most alarm to LGBTQ advocates was in a section titled “Gender, Life, Science.”
“Men and women are biologically different, ‘male and female He created them,'” Scott wrote. “Facts are facts, the earth is round, the sun is hot, there are two genders, and abortion stops a beating heart. To say otherwise is to deny science.”
In this section, Scott — who served as Florida’s governor from 2011 to 2019 — called for nationwide bans on government forms that “include questions about ‘gender identity’ or ‘sexual preference’”; gender-affirming procedures on minors; and transgender women and girls participating on female sports teams.
“We will protect women’s sports by banning biological males from competing,” the policy outline states. “It is hugely unfair and would erase many of the gains women have made in athletics over the last 50 years.”
Scott’s proposals echo the ongoing nationwide push of anti-LGBTQ legislation by state lawmakers.
So far this year, conservative state lawmakers have filed more than 170 anti-LGBTQ bills — already surpassing last year’s 139 total — according to Freedom for All Americans. The majority of the bills target transgender minors’ ability to receive gender-affirming health care or participate in sports.
In the eighth point of Scott’s plan, labeled simply “Family,” he called out the “radical left” for seeking to “devalue and redefine the traditional family,” using language associated with activists opposed to same-sex marriage.
Brandon Wolf, the press secretary for advocacy group Equality Florida, said that Scott’s manifesto was “affirmation of what we’ve been trying to warn folks about.”
“What is happening in Florida isn’t isolated,” Wolf told NBC News. “It’s a test market for a national strategy by the extreme right to legislate this country back to 1960, mire us in culture wars and decimate the progress we’ve won.”
Scott, a first-term senator who is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is not the only Republican to preview how the GOP would pursue anti-LGBTQ legislation should it regain power in Washington.
Last month, former President Donald Trump said he would ban transgender women from participating in women’s sports nationwide if he were re-elected.
“We will ban men from participating in women’s sports,” Trump said during a rally in Conroe, Texas. “So ridiculous.”
Aside from how the GOP should navigate LGBTQ rights, Scott’s manifesto called for Republicans to “eliminate racial politics in America,” finish building a southern border wall and name it after Trump, and battle “the new religion of wokeness.”