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TALLAHASSEE (LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republicans introduced new legislation on Wednesday to crack down on adults grooming children for sexual activity in the Sunshine State.

The one-page HB 1135 would make it a second-degree felony for a legal adult to engage in “lewd or lascivious grooming,” defined as “engag[ing] in the process of preparing or encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity through overtly sexually themed communication with the child or in conduct with or observed by the child without permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian.”  

In Florida, second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. “Habitual” repeat offenders of second-degree penalties may be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. 

HR 1135 was filed by Republican state Reps. Taylor Yarkosky and Douglas Bankson, with its identical state Senate companion filed by Republican Jonathan Martin.

Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law; his spokeswoman Christina Pushaw called HR 1135’s introduction “great news.”

The bill makes no distinction between homosexual or heterosexual grooming, yet left-wing activists have already claimed to perceive it as a potential threat to the “LGBT community.” A Los Angeles Blade article by “transgender” writer “Erin” Reed attacking the legislation cites the fact that the bill’s sponsors have previously discussed the problem of sexually-charged “drag” performances being made accessible to and sometimes aimed at children.

Reed also claims paradoxically that, rather than preserving left-wing parents’ right to expose their children to controversial but not explicitly predatory presentations of their beliefs, the parental consent language actually “gives away” that the authors do not really want to protect children from “actions universally deemed inappropriate […] like an adult sending explicit texted pictures.” 

The article fails to mention that its example is already illegal under other Florida laws, but Reed does go on to call “grooming” a “slur against LGBTQ+ individuals” and even compare conservatives to Nazis because “Nazi publication Der Sturmer published articles about Magnus Hirschfeld, the founder of the first LGBTQ+ research institute, accusing him of ‘sexualizing children’” in the 1920s. Modern-day American leftists’ interest in sexualizing children has nevertheless been well established.

Last May, DeSantis signed legislation empowering Florida to “fine, suspend, or revoke the license of any public lodging establishment or public food service establishment” that “admits a child to an adult live performance,” meaning “any show, exhibition, or other presentation in front of a live audience” that “depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or [other sexual activities] listed in the state code.” The law has been blocked by left-wing lawsuits, and in November, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a chance to resolve the case on procedural grounds.

However, DeSantis and Florida’s efforts to combat grooming and other forms of left-wing indoctrination are part of a broader proactive conservative record focused on parental rights, educational accountability, and so-called “woke ideology” across public and private institutions. DeSantis is currently running on that record for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination.