On Tuesday, the first day of Pride month, Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law that bans transgender women and girls from playing on public secondary schools’ and colleges’ sports teams. Florida becomes the 8th state to enact such a law this year. South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Montana and Alabama are the others.
The Human Rights Campaign has announced it will challenge the ban in court as many allege it is unconstitutional.
“The Human Rights Campaign will always stand up to anti-equality forces on behalf of transgender kids, and that is exactly what we plan to do by legally challenging this ban on the participation of transgender girls and women in sports. Gov. DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are legislating based on a false, discriminatory premise that puts the safety and well-being of transgender children on the line,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign in a statement.
“Transgender kids are kids; transgender girls are girls. Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and be a part of a team. Transgender youth must not be deprived of the opportunity to learn important skills of sportsmanship, healthy competition, and teamwork. The harmful provisions added to SB 1028 will not just impact transgender people in Florida. 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. In Florida, we are ensuring that there are legal consequences to pay for being on the wrong side of history,” he said.
The ”Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” is slated to go into effect on July 1, and mirrors a larger national effort by Republicans to curb transgender rights across the country. According to CNN, “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.”
“This is yet another hate-driven attack from the governor and Republican legislators, and it’s insulting that they’ve staged this morning’s photo-op on the first day of Pride Month,” said Florida state Sen. Shevrin Jones. “At the end of the day, transgender kids are just kids.”