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, Florida’s public policy director for LGBTQ groups equality, told the commission that the bill also needed more clarity in the section dealing with defamatory discrimination allegations against queer people.
Currently, the bill states that a defendant cannot attempt to prove the veracity 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 sole 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 got past the first hurdle, but the state’s Republicans were quickly pressured by conservative media to vote against it. He said he thought he might receive a . 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.”