Florida Governor Ron DeSantis enacted a law on June 1st that restricts people who were pronounced male at birth from participating in female sports. The bill, known as The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, is seen by the left as a direct attack on transgender people.
To add further insult to liberal injury DeSantis signed the bill on the first day of the first-ever White House recognized pride month. This timing certainly did not go unnoticed by one of his biggest critics, and possible future Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried. She later expressed her displeasure at the law via Twitter saying “by signing a heartless ban on transgender kids in sports, [DeSantis] is marginalizing an entire community. Signing it on the first day of #Pride2021 is especially cruel.”
DeSantis, as one may expect, feels quite differently about the bill and before the signing was quoted saying that “[sports] took me to college…to be able to get an education and to compete…it is very important that the integrity of those competitions are preserved.” The bill was signed outside of a private Christian academy in Jacksonville and where Ron announced that now “in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports, and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act goes beyond restricting athletic competitions along biological gender lines. It also allows students to sue schools that allow transgender athletes to participate in events intended for the opposite gender, while “also putting in statute ways to vindicate the rights of any women athletes who may be discriminated against.” DeSantis says that “moving forward, any student who’s deprived of an athletic opportunity as a result of a violation of this law will have a right to civil remedies.”
Despite Nikki Fried’s best efforts and several protests arranged for later this month, DeSantis does not stand alone in support of this new law. For one, Florida is not the only state to have passed such legislation. They join several other Red states in limiting athletic activities by birth gender including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia; while South Dakota’s governor has signed an executive order regarding the same issue.
DeSantis was joined during his signing by a student-athlete from Connecticut, Selina Soule, who gave an interview with Fox News in February about her experience competing against biological males in high school track events. During the interview, she was quoted as saying that “a bad policy… robbed me, my teammates, as well as every other female track athlete in my state of the opportunity to compete on a level playing field...I think that biology should be the reason why the sports are separated…that’s why Title IX was enacted…there are biological differences between a man and a woman, and there’s nothing that can be done to change that.” Soule was happy to be a part of this bill’s implementation and hopes other states follow in Florida’s footsteps because if these policies had been adopted in her home state a few years sooner this bill could have drastically altered her life.
This is a very recent situation and so the protests are ongoing, Florida High School Association is one of the organizations in protest and hold the opinion that “all eligible students should have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics in a manner that is consistent with their [current] gender identity and expression, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s birth certificate and/or records.” This is obviously in direct contrast to the ideal held by Ron Desantis and other Conservatives so, an update can be expected soon on any possible recourse that is taken.