Several members of the committee, including Republicans, said they had concerns about a section of the bill that would change the requirement for either party to pay the other’s attorneys’ fees.
Some people said they hoped the bill would see an amendment. Referred to the House Judiciary Committee For review before further consideration throughout the House.
John Harris Maurer, public policy director for LGBTQ group Equality Florida, told the commission that the bill needed more clarity in the section dealing with defamatory discrimination allegations against queer people. Told.
The bill now states that a defendant cannot attempt to prove the truth of a claim by citing the plaintiff’s scientific or “constitutionally protected religious expressions or beliefs.”
Andrade argued that his bill meant defendants could not use such statements as the only evidence, but Harris Maurer said this was not clear in the text.
“This bill is sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic,” Harris Maurer said. “Why? Because it limits people’s ability to denounce sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia. It’s politically motivated.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, widely reported to be preparing to announce his candidacy for president, has been vocal about his plans set back freedom of the pressDeSantis also Defamation Roundtable Last month, a right-wing figure emerged that foreshadowed legislation.
After the meeting, First Amendment Foundation’s Brock told BuzzFeed News he was disappointed the bill had cleared the first hurdle, but state Republicans quickly voted against it from conservative media. He said he fears he will be under pressure to do so. Like any news outlet, it is at risk of defamation allegations.
“Laws like this are like weaponizing viruses and bacteria,” Bullock said. “If you let it go in the wild, you don’t know what it will do. You can’t control it. It can swing around and bite your butt.”