Devastating news as Florida bans trans women from taking part in school-sponsored sports events.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill on Tuesday which makes it illegal for transgender women and girls to take part in scholastic sports.
The signing took place at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida with DeSantis saying that the bill is necessary to preserve the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports.
He said: “In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports, and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”
The bill does not apply to those of elementary school age.
The new law has sparked outrage among the transgender community and human rights activists who claim that the passing of the bill is a way for the governor to score brownie points with the electorate.
They also claim that the bill will incite even more hostility towards transgender people.
Top governing bodies of scholastic sports in Florida, such as the Florida High School Athletic Association, had policies in place monitoring transgender athletes.
Supporters of the bill, including athlete Selina Soule, refer to a case in Connecticut where transgender girls took home the gold for a number of track and field events.
So far, Tennessee, Arkansas, Idaho, and Mississippi have all enacted similar measures.
Idaho’s bill is currently facing a number of federal lawsuits and Tennessees’ is being contested by the non-profit, American Civil Liberties Union.
Florida’s bill will also see the courtroom as the LGBTQ activist group, Human Rights Campaign fight back.
“Gov. DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are legislating based on a false, discriminatory premise that puts the safety and well-being of transgender children on the line.
“Transgender kids are kids; transgender girls are girls. Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and be a part of a team”, said the group’s president, Alphonso David.
Gina Duncan, director of Equality Flordia and a transgender woman, said: “These bills were a carefully orchestrated culture war that was unleashed in over 30 states across the country.”
“These bills were all structured to achieve one thing: to demonize and discriminate against transgender Americans.”
The bill will take effect on July 1st.
Critics are angry at the governor for choosing the first day of Pride Month for the bill signing.
Florida is set to host over forty regional and national championships between the coming academic year and 2026.
DeSantis has stated that he will not waver the law and would rather the NCAA boycott the state.
“If the price of providing opportunities that can last a lifetime for all the girls throughout the state of Florida, for ensuring fair competition for them; if the price of that is that we lose an event or two? I would choose to protect our young girls every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
Does the new law further alienate transgender women?
Image Via Alamy.