DeSantis Signs Bill Protecting Girls From Competing Against Biological Males In Sports

 

On the first day of June — considered as Pride Month — Florida Governor  Ron DeSantis signed a bill protecting girls from competing against biological males in sports by effectively banning them from competing in women’s sports.

On Tuesday, June 1, the Florida Republican Governor signed into law the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” becoming the latest state to ban biological males from being able to compete against biological females in women’s sports.

“We believe in the state of Florida, of protecting the fairness and the integrity of women’s athletics,” DeSantis said. “And I can tell you this in Florida, you know, girls are going to play girl’s sports and boys are going play boy’s sports, that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality.”

DeSantis, who has earlier indicated his support for the measure, reiterated that the proposal is meant to protect women — who will be put at a disadvantage once biological males are allowed to compete with them in sports.

Sexuality based on biology

“So the bill that we’re doing today will ensure fairness for women athletes for years to come in the state of Florida. It says that athletic teams or sports that are designated for females are open to females. And we’re going to go based on biology,” he added.

The Republican governor went on to say that under the bill a student’s biological sex is “based on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.”

“As part of the bill we’re signing today, we’re not only making sure women have opportunities for scholarships and competition at the highest level, we’re also putting in statute ways to actually vindicate the rights of any women athletes who may be discriminated against,” DeSantis said.

“So moving forward, any student who’s deprived of an athletic opportunity, as a result of a violation of this law will have the right to civil remedies. Any school or public post secondary institution that suffers direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this bill, including by a governmental entity, accrediting organization or athletic association, can also pursue civil remedies. Any student who is subject to retaliation as a result of reporting a violation of this bill can also pursue civil remedies,” he added.

At the press conference, DeSantis reportedly played a video of an instance where biological males compete against biological females in track races at a high school level — and won. The GOP governor said such a case was “blatantly unfair” for the girls. 

“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.”

DeSantis warns NCAA

The Republican governor also rejected threats from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) against laws that protect women from being able to compete against biological males in girls sports saying “Florida will stand for what is right.”

“Some of these organizations say they’re not going to hold events if you do this, just let me say very clearly, in Florida, we’re going to do what’s right, we’ll stand up to corporations, they are not going to dictate the policies in this state,” DeSantis said.

“We will stand up to groups like the NCAA, who think that they should be able to dictate the policies in different states.”

The US has seen a growing number of states seeking to ban transgender biological males from competing in women’s sports recently citing the need to protect women in sports due to “inherent physical differences” between biological males and biological females. 

AlabamaNorth CarolinaMississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee all passed their versions of a “Fairness Act” in a bid to ensure a “fair playing field in sports.” South Dakota also issued an executive order to bar transgender girls from girls’ sports leagues.

On the other hand, Democratic President Joe Biden ramped up his support for transgenders during his first address before the joint Congress last week as more and more states seek to push bills restricting the participation of biological born males in women’s sports telling them that “your president has your back.”

“Protecting fairness” on Pride Month

There are currently over 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration across at least 30 states, with more than half of these bills focused on transgender people. 

Meanwhile, despite the pushback from pro-LGBTQ sectors and Democratic lawmakers tagging the new law as “discriminatory” and “will be challenged in court as unconstitutional,” DeSantis maintained that the measure is only meant to promote fairness.

On signing the bill at the start of Pride Month, DeSantis said: “It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness and women’s sports.”

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