On the first day of LGBT Pride Month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed a bill that prohibits transgender athletes from competing on girls' and women's sports teams.

Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 1028 after removing some controversial measures, including a requirement that transgender student athletes undergo genetic testing and submit to a genitalia examination.

Under the new law, transgender high school or college athletes can only participate in team sports if they provide proof of their biological sex. It also allows students to sue a school if they allow a transgender girl or woman on a sports team.

DeSantis signed the bill at an event that included a group of female athletes.

“We believe that it's very important that the integrity of those competitions are preserved, that these opportunities are protected, and I can tell you this: In Florida, girls are going to play girl sports and boys are going to play boy sports,” he said.

When asked by a reporter what message he's sending by signing the bill on the first day of Pride Month, DeSantis answered that he's “saying we're going to protect fairness in women's sports.”

Florida joins eight other states with similar bans, including South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Montana, Alabama, and Idaho. A federal judge has blocked implementation of Idaho's law.

Lawmakers in Louisiana have approved a similar bill (Senate Bill 156). While Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has promised to veto the legislation, the bill passed with a veto-proof majority.

Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo, a Democrat, criticized the bill, calling the effort mean spirited.

“The message that the bill sends is an ugly message of exclusion, telling trans kids that who they are is not OK and that they need to change who they are,” he is quoted as saying by the AP.

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, more than 200 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in state legislatures this session, 66 of which target transgender athletes.