Florida House Passes Bill Banning Biological Men From Women’s Sports
The Florida House passed a bill that prohibits biological men from participating in female sports.
HB 1475, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, passed in the Republican-led state House by a vote of 77-40, mostly along party lines.
The bill would require admission to public school and college sports teams to be based on male/female sex, not gender identity.
The Hill reported the legislation, if enacted, “would require that sports team eligibility be based on a student’s ‘biological sex,’” and explained the phrase refers to “the sex assigned at birth.”
The bill comes as the issue of transgender participation in female sports was thrust into the national spotlight just days into the Biden administration, with the new president signing an executive order aimed at compelling sports leagues to allow transgender participation.
That act set off a wave of responses in various states, many of whom introduced or passed legislation aimed at protecting female sports from male participation.
Predictably, Florida’s bill drew praise from Republicans and ire from Democrats:
Tuck received an ovation from her GOP colleagues when she asserted the bill is “strictly to preserve the safety, integrity, fairness, and competitiveness of women’s sports.”
“This is about giving women and girls an equal chance to succeed,” added state Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka (R), a former tennis player and coach. “It’s simple, it’s clear. I’ve reviewed it.”
House Democrats, however, framed the legislation as an anti-LGBTQ bill.
“I don’t care how many times you tell yourself this is about women’s sports and not LGBTQ rights or discrimination, because that is wrong,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani (D).
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) reportedly said at a press conference hosted by LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida that, due to this type of legislation, “transgender children … have been weaponized and turned into political pawns.”
So far, Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have passed similar laws aimed at prohibiting biological males from participating in female sports.
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