Florida House passes bill banning transgender female athletes from women’s teams
Florida’s state House on Wednesday passed a bill that would ban transgender female athletes from joining women’s public school and college sports teams.
The “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” if signed into law, would require that sports team eligibility be based on a student’s “biological sex,” which refers to the sex assigned at birth.
The bill adds that “under certain circumstances,” schools and institutions would be required to “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.”
The intent of the legislation, according to the text, is to “maintain opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their skill, strength, and athletic abilities,” in addition to providing them with opportunities to receive various recognitions and accolades.
The bill also aims to “promote sex equality by requiring the designation of separate sex-specific athletic teams or sports.”
The legislation passed through the state House in a mostly party-line vote of 77 to 40. All Republicans present for the vote supported the legislation, and one Democrat crossed party lines and voted for the bill, according to Fox 13.
Attention will now turn to the Republican-controlled Senate, where a similar bill is being considered.
Legislation limiting participation for transgender athletes have sprung up in a number of states across the country.
Last month, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed the year’s first ban on transgender athletes participating in women’s sports in public schools, which is set to go into effect on July 1.
On Monday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) expressed support for transgender athletes, announcing in a statement that it would not host college championships in states where laws discriminate against them.
“When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected,” NCAA wrote.
“The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports,” the association added.
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