by Mary Margaret Olohan
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday banning biological males from women’s sports.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act prohibits biological males from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for female students and requires that a student’s school or institution “request a certain health examination and consent form or other statement from the student’s health care provider to verify the student’s biological sex under certain circumstances.”
“The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis tweeted Tuesday. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field. This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 1, 2021
“We believe in the state of Florida of protecting the fairness and integrity of women’s athletics,” DeSantis said before signing the bill, according to WFLA. “I can tell you that in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”
The legislation also provides “protections for educational institutions from certain adverse actions taken by a governmental entity, any licensing or accrediting organization, or any athletic association or organization” that may dispute the law.
The governor signed the bill on the first day of Pride Month, sparking a backlash from LGBTQ advocates, though DeSantis said the law was not intended to be a message.
“First of all it’s not a message to anything other than we are going to protect fairness in women’s sports,” the governor said, according to Fox 13. “We think it’s important they compete on a level playing field. We’ve seen what happens when you don’t have that.”
“By signing a heartless ban on transgender kids in sports, @GovRonDeSantis is marginalizing an entire community. Signing it on the first day of #Pride2021 is especially cruel,” tweeted Florida Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services Nikki Fried. “Florida should stand for inclusivity, equality, and liberty — not peddling hate for political points.”
Appalling. First day of LGBTQ Pride Month and @GovRonDeSantis signs SB 1028 which bans trans kids from school sports. FHSAA has allowed trans kids to participate in FL since 2013 with ZERO problems. This fuels transphobia and puts vulnerable kids at risk for no good reason.
— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) June 1, 2021
At least 31 states have taken action to ban biological males from participating in female sports. Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have introduced legislation aimed at banning biological males from female sports, according to data compiled by the American Principles Project.
South Dakota’s bill was thrust into the national spotlight when Republican Gov. Kristi Noem refused to sign the legislation without her suggested changes. The governor insisted that the bill would subject South Dakota to lawsuits the state could not win and said she seeks to “protect girls” through other measures.
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.