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Florida ‘Reverse Woke Act’: Employers Subsidizing Gender Transition Must Pay for Detransition Treatments

February 23, 2023

“An employer that covers the cost … of gender dysphoria treatment for employees must also cover the total costs associated with treatment that reverses the gender dysphoria treatment,” according to the “Reverse Woke Act” (SB 952), introduced Monday by Florida Senator Blaise Ingoglia (R).

SB 952 defines “gender dysphoria treatment” to include “surgery, hormone replacement therapy, or any other procedure or treatment that assists persons with gender dysphoria in transitioning to their self-identified gender.”

The Reverse Woke Act stipulates that the employer who paid for the gender dysphoria treatment must cover the total cost of detransition treatments “regardless of the rate of coverage provided for the initial treatment.” Furthermore, that same employer must cover the cost of detransition “regardless of whether the person is currently employed by that same employer at the time of such determination.”

If employers refuse to pay for detransition treatments, SB 952 entitles the aggrieved employee to “file a civil action … to recover from the employer … the actual costs association with such treatment as well as any damages incurred by the person as a result of the employer’s noncompliance.”

Thousands of people who attempted to medically or surgically alter their body to match their self-perceived gender identity have now come to recognize those attempts were a grave mistake, as they now have come to identify with their biological sex. Members of this growing movement are known as “detransitioners.” They regret the physical alterations inflicted upon their body, which are often irreversible.

Bill sponsor Ingoglia said he introduced the bill to protect Floridians from being “used as political pawns to advance a leftist agenda for the governor of California.” Last September, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law a bill that makes the Left Coast state a “refuge” for children across the nation seeking gender transition procedures prohibited in their home state. That bill allows the state of California to temporarily assume custody of the minor, hypothetically protecting their parents from criminal prosecution. Earlier this month, the Florida Board of Medicine and Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine approved standards of care forbidding health care professionals from performing gender transition procedures on minors.

However, the current text of Ingoglia’s bill only covers “an employee who received gender dysphoria treatment through coverage provided by an employer” and does not extend to that employee’s dependents who may be covered by his or her insurance. Thus, the bill would only apply to minors whose gender transition procedures were paid for by their own employer-provided health insurance. The category of Florida minors who 1) have a job, 2) have full-time employee benefits, and 3) hold such a job at a company large enough that it can afford to promise to pay for expensive gender transition procedures is likely infinitesimally small.

Regardless, Ingoglia’s bill does counter the activities of woke corporations. At least 27 Florida companies have announced plans to pay for gender transition procedures and related travel, according to the Orlando Weekly. “Woke businesses need to be held accountable when offering to pay for gender affirming surgeries in other states, such as California, because they are nothing more than political decisions masquerading as healthcare and human resource decisions,” Ingoglia responded.

Whether it counters California’s sanctuary bill or not, the basic logic of the Reverse Woke Act is sound: Companies are willing to pay for gender transition procedures, which can be harmful, experimental, and irreversible. When, inevitably, some transgender-identifying people wish to re-identify with their biological sex, the same companies should have to pay to (partially) undo the damage they caused. At the very least, the bill recognizes that detransitioners do exist, a truth transgender ideologues prefer to ignore.

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.