DeSantis signs bill banning males from female high school and college sports
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act into law which bans biological males from competing in women’s sports.
“We believe in the state of Florida protecting the fairness and integrity of women’s athletics,…I can tell you that in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports,” DeSantis said Tuesday.
“We’re going to go based off biology not ideology when we’re doing sports,” he added. The bill also allows students to file a lawsuit against a school that allows males to play on female teams.
Opponents decried the signing of the bill taking place on June 1, the first day of Pride Month. In response those questioning the message being sent by the date of the signing, DeSantis said, “It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness and women’s sports.”
DeSantis signed the bill during an event at the Trinity Christian Academy alongside several teenage girl athletes. The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Kelli Stargel, said “We all know that men are stronger than women.”
Stargel commented on a video played at the event which showed a Connecticut track athlete who sued over males competing against the girls in high school sports. “And when you’re looking at that video, it’s evident the woman, the transgender woman who competed, or self-identified woman, ran very differently than the others in the competition. It’s physiologically different. Men are stronger, they have bigger lung capacity, stronger muscles,” she continued.
Gay rights organization Human Rights Campaign announced Tuesday it plans to file a lawsuit to overturn the new law.
“This upcoming lawsuit in Florida to be filed by the Human Rights Campaign comes amid a rash of anti-transgender sports ban legislation being taken up and passed in states across the country,” the HRC said in a statement.
“Lawmakers across the country who support these bills have failed to provide examples of any issue in their states to attempt to justify these attacks on transgender youth, laying bare the reality that they are fueled by discriminatory intent and not supported by fact,” the HRC added.
DeSantis brushed off warnings from corporations and the NCAA that they migt pull events and sports championships from Florida because of the new bill.
“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, will 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.”