Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest bill signing bans transgender females from competing in girls’ sports on first day of Pride Month

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Hunter Crenian

On Tuesday, June 1, Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis signed a recently passed bill into law that prohibits transgender females from participating in public school sports that are intended for biologically born females, further affirming the state’s tilt in favor of largely Republican political ideologies.

SB 1028 was signed into Florida law yesterday on the first day of Pride Month at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, which under the law text will not be subject to the exclusion. 

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports, and boys are going to play boys sports. We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality,” said the Florida governor as he signed the bill into law.

The largest piece of support driving the bill is the position that biological males have a competitive advantage over females, therefore, giving girls a great disadvantage in their own sport if they were to compete on the same field as a biological male.

As it stands, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” separates teams “on the basis of students’ biological sex at birth,” effectively banning fully or partially transitioned biological males to females from participating in competitive public school girls’ athletic programs. 

Despite the law’s language banning “biological males” from participating in girls’ athletics, it does not deny “biological females” from playing on a boys’ team.

“It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness and women’s sports,” said DeSantis.

But the tone and formality of the bill signing did not sit well with a large portion of the pro LGBTQ+ community members and supporters.

In a press release response from the Senate Democratic Caucus following the signing of the legislation, the Republican party was bashed for its stance of “openly attacking vulnerable LGBTQ+ children without a single shred of evidence that a problem even exists.”

“Florida’s elected leaders could better serve all our youth by understanding and taking action on the high incidences of bullying, violence, and suicidal tendencies that happen to them across this state every day, and trans youth should have no less focus,” continued the statement. “The language denigrating trans youth incorporated in this bill shows how little the Republican-led legislature regards equal treatment for all our young people.”

Without question, the law is going to receive challenges at the federal level, with many opposing legislators deeming the bill “unconstitutional.”

“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,” state Sen. Shevrin Jones said. “At the end of the day, transgender kids are just kids.” 

DeSantis had until June 12 to sign the bill into law but made the decision to do so on the first day of Pride Month. 

The legislation goes into effect on July 1.

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