Florida's Republican governor Ron DeSantis rang in the first day of Pride Month yesterday by signing the "Fairness in Women’s Sports Act," a bill that essentially bans transgender girls and women from participating in girls' sports in public schools, into law.
"In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports," DeSantis said at the signing of the bill that took place yesterday at Jacksonville's Trinity Christian Academy. "We're going to make sure that that's the reality."
Taking effect on July 1, the bill prohibits transgender female athletes from competing in girls sporting events, reports NBC News. The sweeping ban, which The Cut reports will affect athletes from middle school all the way to the collegiate level, forces trans athletes who wish to participate in girls' sports to show their birth certificates to schools to prove whether or not they were assigned female at birth, though it is not clear if this requirement will be asked of cisgender athletes as well. The law will also allow any cisgender student to take legal action against a school if they allow a trans athlete to compete in a sporting event or team sport designated for girls.
"We believe that is very important that the integrity of these competitions are preserved," DeSantis said when signing the bill. "We’re gonna go based on biology, not based on ideology when we’re doing sports."
The controversial bill has garnered lots of reactions from all sides of the political spectrum.
"This bill is very simply about making sure that women can safely compete, have opportunities and physically be able to excel in a sport that they trained for, prepared for and work for," said Republican state senator, and one of the bill's supporters, Kelli Stargel said. "This is nothing about anybody being discriminated against. It’s solely so that women have an opportunity to compete in women’s sports."
"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," Shevrin Jones, Florida’s first out state senator, said in response to the anti-trans bill's signing. "At the end of the day, transgender kids are just kids."