Florida Governor Signs Extremely Controversial Bill Banning Transgender Athletes From Female Sports

Florida governor OKs limits on transgender student athletes

Florida joins Idaho, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Montana in banning trans-women from competing in secondary and collegiate sports for women and girls.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that bans biological males from competing in biological female sports. "In Florida, we are ensuring that there are legal consequences to pay for being on the wrong side of history".

DeSantis also announced that he would be signing a separate bill the same day that would allow students to get compensation for the use of their name and likeness, effective July 1, 2021, despite the bill signed on video pushing the date off to 2022. It does not allow transgender females to participate in female sports.

High-profile athletic events, such as football bowl games and basketball tournaments, generate millions of dollars for local communities. Transgender kids are kids; transgender girls are girls.

High school athletes in CT filed a lawsuit to block biological males from female sports.

DeSantis, considered a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate, said the Fairness in Women's Sports Act would help protect equal opportunities for women to obtain college athletic scholarships. The law would not bar female athletes from playing on boys or men's teams. "Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and be a part of a team", Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement. "All Floridians will have to face the consequences of this anti-transgender legislation - including economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation".

"It's shameful that our Governor and Florida's Republican Party would attack a group of people who already experience constant discrimination, bullying and high rates of suicide", Eskamani said. Shevrin Jones. "At the end of the day, transgender kids are just kids".

The ban appeared dead until it was added as an amendment to a bill regarding charter schools. It was the transgender athletes provision that was front and center in Tuesday's rhetoric.

"This is nothing about anybody being discriminated against", she said.

The Florida law mirrors an Idaho law, the first of its kind when enacted past year, that is now mired in legal challenges.

DeSantis's political opponents blasted the governor for signing the bill. He noted the pressure campaigns that many activists have launched in states like South Dakota, where Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) vetoed a bill protecting women's sports because it went too far in the eyes of the NCAA. Those losses were averted when a 2019 settlement kept the state from barring transgender people from using bathrooms that conformed to their gender identity.

"I can tell you this: in Florida, girls are going to play girls sports, and boys are going to play boy sports", declared DeSantis.

"We will stand up to groups like the NCAA who think they should be able to dictate the policies in different states. Not here, not ever".

DeSantis introduced Selina Soule, who spoke about her experience losing to biological males who identify as female. She called it unfair.

Content from The News Service of Florida was used in this report.

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