Florida universities pivot again to supply DeSantis with records of gender-affirming care

Carter Mudgett, Editor in Chief

[This story was updated at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, to include a statement from the University of North Florida, received by Spinnaker Thursday morning.]

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked state universities to provide evidence of state funds being used to provide gender-affirming care, the third request of its kind, according to a memo released Wednesday. 

Chris Spencer, director of the office of policy and budget for DeSantis, has again asked all Florida State University System (SUS) institutions to compile a new list. 

“Our office has learned that several state universities provide services to persons suffering from gender dysphoria,” Spencer wrote in the memo. “On behalf of the Governor, I hereby request that you respond to the enclosed inquiries related to such services.”

A screenshot of the initial portion of memorandum # 23-022.

A four-page document, the requested information includes the number of times gender-affirming treatment was sought out, the number of people diagnosed with gender identity disorder and the number of people who underwent any of a series of gender-affirming surgeries. 

Many of these categories were specifically asked to be broken down by their age. The memo also asks the extent to which people received mental health services prior to their gender-affirming services. 

Any and all policies and procedures, including drafts, for gender-affirming treatment at any point between Jan. 1, 2018, and present-day were also requested. 

The memo sets a hard deadline of Feb. 10, 2023, for the information to be compiled and received by Spencer’s office. 

Spinnaker reached out to the University of North Florida (UNF) for a comment on how they were responding to the DeSantis administration’s request and were told that “The University is reviewing the request and will respond based on the timeline provided.”

View the full memo here and the memo instructions here

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