Story at a glance

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill Tuesday blocking transgender girls from playing on female sports teams at public schools.
  • “In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
  • The Florida law would require an athlete to prove their gender at birth, and student athletes would be capable of suing should a school allow a transgender girl to play on a female team.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill Tuesday blocking transgender girls from playing on female sports teams at public schools. 

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said while signing the bill into law, according to The Associated Press (AP). “We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality.”

Florida joins a host of Republican-led states that have implemented restrictions on transgender participation in school sports. But the decision could carry potential financial consequences as entities like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which governs college sports, maintain it will hold sporting championships only in “locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.” 

The Florida law would require an athlete to prove their gender at birth, and student athletes would be capable of suing should a school allow a transgender girl to play on a female team.


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But state lawmakers are split on their views of the latest bill. On one side, Republican’s assert that the law will protect the integrity of girls' sports and enhance fairness. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers view the bill as a hateful act. 

“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. Shevrin Jones after the bill’s signing. “At the end of the day, transgender kids are just kids.”

Yet Kelli Stargel, a major proponent of the bill, said the new law is “simply about making sure that women can safely compete.” 

“This is nothing about anybody being discriminated against,” she said, according to AP. “It’s solely so that women have an opportunity to compete in women’s sports.”

Florida’s law makes it the seventh state to ban transgender girls participation in school sports. 


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Published on Jun 01, 2021