Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that bans transgender females from participating in school sports on Tuesday, June 1.
“In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports, boys are going to play boys sports,” DeSantis said.
The bill titled the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” states specifies athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex based on the biological sex listed on a student’s birth certificate. The new law will take effect on July 1.
During the press briefing, Ron DeSantis made it clear he would “stand up to groups like the NCAA who think that they should be able to dictate the policies in different states,” adding “if the price of providing opportunities that can last a lifetime for all the girls throughout the state of Florida, for ensuring fair competition for them; if the price of that is that we lose an event or two?”
Democrats quickly noted how DeSantis signed the legislation on the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, a move Democratic Agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried said was “especially cruel.” But when asked, DeSantis said the timing behind the bill signing had nothing to do with Pride Month.
State Rep. Anna Eskamani released a statement in response to Gov. Ron DeSantis, that reads:
“Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law the state’s first anti-LGBTQ bill in 23 years. This bigoted, transphobic piece of legislation targets one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our state: transgender youth. It excludes transgender people from public life, including participation in sports. 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.
For over a decade, athletics in Florida have been guided by policies that balance the competitive nature of sports with the necessity to give transgender students access to the educational, development, and leadership opportunities that participating on a sports team can provide.
Transgender youth deserve our love and support, not cruel attacks because of who they are. The consequences for states that have passed anti-LGBTQ+ laws are clear — bigoted policies lead to major economic loss. Today Governor Ron DeSantis allowed ignorance to prevail and took our state backwards in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. We won’t forget it.”
LGBTQ civil rights group the Human Rights Campaign announced on Twitter its intention in filing a lawsuit to block the law from taking effect. Along with the NCAA Board of Governor saying they “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports,” in a published statement.