Florida becomes 8th state to enact anti-trans sports ban this year

Florida became the eighth state this year to...

Posted: Jun 1, 2021 1:26 PM

Florida became the eighth state this year to ban transgender girls and women in public secondary schools and colleges from participating on girls' and women's sports teams after its Republican governor signed the restrictive measure into law on Tuesday.

The action by Gov. Ron DeSantis comes during a record-breaking year for anti-trans bills in statehouses across the country and was taken on the first day of Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community that takes place throughout June, and 11 days before the five-year anniversary of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed at a popular LGBTQ venue in Orlando.

LGBTQ advocates quickly denounced the move, with one group vowing to mount a legal challenge.

Under the law, public secondary school and college sports teams are required to be designated based on "biological sex," thus prohibiting trans women and girls from participating on women's athletic teams.

The bill defines a student's "biological sex" as the one that was printed on the student's official birth certificate at or near the time of birth.

While sex is a category that refers broadly to physiology, a person's gender is an innate sense of identity. The factors that go into determining the sex listed on a birth certificate may include anatomy, genetics and hormones, and there is broad natural variation in each of these categories.

For this reason, the language of "biological sex," as used in this legislation, can be overly simplistic and misleading.

The law also allows a "student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation" of the ban to take legal action and permits a student "who is subject to retaliation or other adverse action by a school" for reporting a violation of the ban to sue the school.

"We believe that it's very important that the integrity of those competitions are preserved, that these opportunities are protected, and I can tell you this: In Florida, girls are going to play girl sports and boys are going to play boy sports," DeSantis said at an event for the bill's signing that included a group of female athletes in the state.

Florida is the eighth Republican-led state to enact such a sports ban this year, the Human Rights Campaign told CNN. South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Montana and Alabama are the others.

Asked by a reporter at the event what message he's sending by signing the bill on the first day of Pride Month, DeSantis replied: "It's not a message to anything other than saying we're going to protect fairness in women's sports."

The new law is already being met with opposition from Democrats in the state, with the Florida Senate Democratic Caucus saying in a statement following DeSantis' signing that the law is an open attack on vulnerable LGBTQ children.

"By folding the transgender ban into the charter school legislation, Republicans in Tallahassee rejected both science and reason, openly attacking vulnerable LGBTQ+ children without a single shred of evidence that a problem even exists," they said, adding: "Not once has there been an incident or complaint in our state alleging that a transgender athlete's participation unfairly impacted middle school, high school or college athletic competition."

LGBTQ advocates blasted the governor's decision, with the Human Rights Campaign saying it plans to mount a legal challenge to the ban.

"All Floridians will have to face the consequences of this anti-transgender legislation -- including economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation," Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement. "In Florida, we are ensuring that there are legal consequences to pay for being on the wrong side of history."

Last week, civil rights groups sued West Virginia over its sports ban, arguing the measure unconstitutionally "discriminates on the basis of sex and transgender status."

The NCAA has come out in opposition to such bans, saying in April that it's closely monitoring them to make sure NCAA championships can be held "in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants."

But DeSantis shrugged off potential boycotts of the state by the NCAA and other corporations that oppose the ban, saying at Tuesday's event that such groups "are not going to dictate the policies in this state."

"We will stand up to groups like the NCAA who think that they should be able to dictate the policies in different states. Not here, not ever," he said.

In opposing such bans this year, Democrats have pointed to the NCAA's decision in 2016 not to host the Final Four in cities that enforce anti-LGBTQ measures. The body's policy came after North Carolina approved a measure that required people to use the public restrooms that corresponded with the sexes on their birth certificates -- a rule that was later repealed, resulting in the NCAA ending its own ban.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
Out of CA00
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 63°
Brookings
Mostly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 50°
Crater Lake
Mostly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 63°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 63°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 59°
Storm system arrives today
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events