JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1028 into law on Tuesday morning, which bans trans-female athletes in public high school or college from playing in women’s sports.
DeSantis said the bill will empower women and girls to compete on a level playing field.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field. This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 1, 2021
"In Florida, you know, girls are gonna play girls sports and boys are gonna play boys sports," DeSantis said.
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According to the bill, an athlete's sex will be determined by their official birth certificate at the time or near the time of birth.
The bill also allows for civil remedies if a student is "deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation" of the law.
Previously, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors said it would consider pulling championships from states that ban athletes who are transgender from participating in women's or girls' sports.
"Some of these organizations say they're not gonna hold events if you do this and just let me just say very clearly — in Florida, we're going to do what's right," DeSantis said. "We'll 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."
DeSantis has already gotten backlash on social media for signing the bill on the first day of Pride Month.
Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried tweeted minutes after the bill was signed calling the ban "heartless."
By signing a heartless ban on transgender kids in sports, @GovRonDeSantis is marginalizing an entire community.— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) June 1, 2021
Signing it on the first day of #Pride2021 is especially cruel.
Florida should stand for inclusivity, equality, and liberty — not peddling hate for political points.
The Human Rights Campaign said it would be filing a lawsuit to block the bill.
BREAKING: On the first day of #Pride, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill banning trans kids in the state from playing sports.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 1, 2021
We will be filing a lawsuit to block this arbitrary, discriminatory ban. #LetKidsPlay
The bill will take effect July 1.