With some last-minute maneuvering on
Wednesday, Florida lawmakers approved a bill that prohibits
transgender athletes from competing on girls' or women's sports
The bill, stuck in the Senate, appeared
likely to die as lawmakers were preparing to end the legislative
The Miami Herald reported that
Republican leadership on Wednesday “unexpectedly rammed a ban on
transgender athletes in women's and girls' sports through the
legislative process amid an outcry from Democrats who called foul on
the last-minute procedural moves.”
GOP leaders approved Senate Bill 1028
by attaching it to a charter schools bill. Democrats looked on as
Republicans approved the bill in both chambers on the same day.
The legislation now heads to the desk
of Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who is likely to sign the
bill into law.
The measure approved Wednesday does not
include controversial language that would have forced transgender
athletes to undergo a medical inspection of their genitals.
Supporters of such bans say they are
needed to protect cisgender girls and women.
“To think about my daughters
competing against biological males rubs me the wrong way,” said
Senator Keith Perry, a Republican from Gainesville. “It's just
According to the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, more than 250
anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in state legislatures this
session, including 66 measures similar to Florida's bill.
“Under the guise of an education
bill, the Florida House and Senate rushed to pass SB 1028.
Ultimately, this bill will not just hurt transgender kids; it will
hurt all Floridians because the consequences of this law – economic
harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished
reputation – will ripple across the state,” said HRC President
Alphonso David, possibly referring to the NCAA recently saying that
it would not hold championship games in states with such laws.
backs transgender athletes; says it will pull events from states with
“Let’s be clear here: transgender
children exist and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
Legislators across the country have neglected to name any examples of
the sky falling based on transgender athletes' participation in youth
sports. That is because those examples simply don't exist, and
athletic organizations have welcomed transgender athletes'
participation for years without incident. We strongly urge Florida
legislators to put an end to these hateful bills,” he said.
Senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat from
North Miami Beach, called the legislation “unnecessary” and