Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is promising to sign a bill passed by Florida’s Republican state legislature to keep males from competing in women’s sports, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would allow women and girls to seek damages from public schools and colleges if they lose opportunities as a result of being forced to compete with males.
The bill had stalled before getting passed as a last-minute amendment to another bill before the end of the legislative session on Friday.
Florida passes bill to protect women’s sports
The bill requires any team or sport sponsored by a secondary or postsecondary public school to be expressly designated as male, female, or co-ed.
Males are barred from participating in female sports, but females are permitted to participate in male sports. A birth certificate is sufficient to identify a student’s sex. Any student who is deprived of an opportunity, or who suffers retaliation for reporting a violation of the policy, can take legal action against an offending school or athletic association.
The text of the amendment argues that “requiring the designation of separate sex-specific athletic teams or sports is necessary to maintain fairness for women’s athletic opportunities.” The amendment was introduced by state Rep. Kaylee Tuck (R), who had sponsored the original House bill.
DeSantis vows to sign
DeSantis vowed to promptly sign the bill at a town hall Thursday.
“We’re going to protect our girls,” DeSantis said. “I have a four-year-old daughter and a one-year old daughter. They’re both very athletic. We want to have opportunities for our girls. They deserve an even playing field, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Culture war rages on
His state is the latest to join a conservative reaction to a push for transgender inclusion that has accelerated under the Biden administration.
Across the country, conservatives have responded with legislation to ban males from women’s sports and prevent doctors from providing irreversible “gender-affirming care” to children with gender dysphoria, or “trans youth” as they are often called by LGBT ideologues.
In his first major address to Congress last week, President Joe Biden lobbied Congress to pass the so-called Equality Act and pledged his support for minors who believe they were born in the wrong body. “I want you to know that your president has your back,” he said.