Florida becomes 8th state to enact anti-trans sports ban this year

The teens at the center of the fight over transgender athletes' rights

The law, rushed through the state legislature as an attachment to a charter school bill, passed over the objection of Democrats and civil rights advocates who call bans on transgender girls and women in female sports unnecessary and discriminatory and accuse Republicans of portraying them as a provocation to energize the right wing of their party.

Florida's Republican governor signed a bill Tuesday barring transgender females from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes born as girls, plunging the state into the national culture war over transgender rights.

House Bill 1475 makes participation in athletics contingent on determining students' "biological sex", a disputed term that refers to the sex assigned at birth. We elite female athletes don't give up a normal high school experience just for participation trophies. He signed the bill in front of a group of female teenage athletes, including Selina Soule, one of the CT female athletes who is suing to reverse unfair transgender rules that deprived them of athletic opportunities. "We will stand up to groups like the NCAA who think that they should be able to dictate policies in different states".

Shortly afterwards, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - one of the United States' leading LGBT+ organisations, announced its intention to challenge Florida's law in court.

"This is yet another hate-driven attack from the governor and Republican legislators, and it's insulting that they've staged this morning's photo-op on the first day of Pride Month", said state Sen. The NCAA now requires transgender women to get treatment to lower their testosterone levels before they can compete in women's sports. We'll stand up to corporations; they're not going to dictate the policies of this state.

"And so we won't be cowed. We will stand strong", DeSantis said. "If the price of providing opportunities for all the girls throughout the state of Florida is that we lose an event or two, I would choose to protect our girls every day of the week and twice on Sunday". DeSantis, noting that college coaches have told recruiters of the benefit, said that another bill he will sign will move up the date of the NIL legislation to July 1, 2021.

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

Lawmakers behind the legislation also said the bill has been miscast as discriminatory rather than a bill protecting female athletes. Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and be a part of a team. "Transgender youth must not be deprived of the opportunity to learn important skills of sportsmanship, healthy competition, and teamwork", said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David.

The issue of transgender females competing in girls' sports led to a major media controversy last week, when USA Today edited track athlete Chelsea Mitchell's op-ed to change her references to "males" to "transgenders". "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".

"This is not out of need or necessity", said Orlando Gonzales, the executive director of SAVE, a South Florida gay rights advocacy group, during a news conference.



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