Florida House OKs bill aimed at curbing hate speech on private property

Bill meant to combat rise in hateful messages being distributed

Florida State Capitol building

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In a particularly rancorous Florida Legislative Session, one bill brought everyone in the Florida House together Thursday — it was aimed at stopping the growing number of hateful messages being distributed in neighborhoods and projecting onto buildings.

The House unanimously passed HB 269 on Thursday, also known as the public nuisances bill. It also had unanimous sponsorship.

It prohibits people from distributing any material onto public property in order to intimidate or threaten people, or harassing people who are wearing anything that identifies their religious or ethnic heritage, and makes those violations hate crimes.

It also bans projecting images onto buildings or structures without permission.

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The bill was filed in response to the growing number of antisemitic incidents in Florida.

That includes projections of antisemitic messages in downtown Orlando on New Year’s Eve and at the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach in February. It also includes distribution of antisemitic flyers in neighborhoods in Daytona Beach, Orlando, Ormond Beach and west Orange County.

The bill’s companion in the Florida Senate has one more committee stop before reaching the floor for a final vote.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.