Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday banning biological males from competing in women’s sports.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act prohibits biological males from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for female athletes and requires that school’s or institution “request a certain health examination and consent form or other statement from the student’s biological sex under certain circumstances.”
”The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis tweeted. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”
“We believe in the state of Florida of protecting the fairness and integrity of women’s athletics,” DeSantis said before signing the bill, according to WFLA. “I can tell you that in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”
The legislation also provides “protections for educational institutions from certain adverse actions taken by a governmental entity, any licensing or accrediting organization, or any athletic association or organization” that may dispute the law.
The governor signed the bill ironically on the first day of “Pride Month”, sparking unexpected backlash from LGBT advocates, though DeSantis points out that this law is not intended to be a message.
”First of all it’s not a message to anything other than we are going to protect fairness in women’s sports,” the governor said, according to Fox 13. “We think it’s important they compete on a level playing field. We’ve seen what happens when you don’t have that.”
At least 31 have taken action to protect women’s sports. Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have introduced pieces of legislation that are aimed at banning biological males from competing in female sports.
South Dakota’s bill Was thrust into the national spotlight when Republican Governor Kristi Noem refused to sign the legislation without her suggested word changes. The governor insisted that signing that bill into law would have her state be the subject of lawsuits that her state couldn’t win and said that she seeks to “protect girls” though other measures.