Florida Republican Governor Ron Desantis has signed a bill banning transgender people from playing on public school women’s sports teams. This was reported by NBC News.
“In Florida, girls will play girls’ sports and boys will play boys’ sports,” Ron Desantis said as he signed the bill at the Christian Academy in Jacksonville.
Supporters of the bill argue that transgender female athletes have an unfair advantage. Critics, on the other hand, believe the law discriminates against transgender people.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States has threatened to move key games from states that discriminate against certain athletes. When the Florida Legislature considered the bill in April, the NCAA said it would hold championship games in “locations where tournament hosts can commit to a safe, healthy and discrimination-free environment.”
The document, approved by the state legislature, takes effect July 1. It states that transgender students cannot participate in athletic competitions unless they show a birth certificate. NBC notes that it is not yet clear whether all female athletes must show their papers or only those whose gender is in question.
The bill allows a school to be sued if school officials allow transgender people to play on women’s teams.
Bills restricting transgender people from participating in college and university sports have previously been passed in Alabama, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and South Dakota. While the governors of Kansas and North Dakota vetoed such a law.