clearn.png
Sunday September 19th, 2021 12:04AM

Florida governor bans transgender women from school sports

By The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's Republican governor signed a bill Tuesday barring transgender females from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes born as girls, plunging the state into the national culture war over transgender rights.

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said as he signed the bill into law at a private Christian academy in Jacksonville that would not be subject to the law. “We're going to make sure that that's the reality."

The new law, sure to be challenged as unconstitutional, inflames an already contentious discussion unfolding nationally as Republican-controlled states move to limit the rights of LGBTQ people, whose advocates were particularly annoyed that the legislation was signed on the first day of Gay Pride Month.

The NCAA, which oversees college athletics, has said it has “a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports.” When the Florida Legislature was considering the measure in April, the NCAA said it would commit championship games to “locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”

High-profile athletic events, such as football bowl games and basketball tournaments, generate millions of dollars for local communities.

The measure approved by the GOP-led Legislature takes effect July 1. It says a transgender student athlete can’t participate without first showing a birth certificate saying she was a girl when she was born. It's not clear whether all females must show their birth certificates, or only those whose gender is questioned. The proposal allows another student to sue if a school allows a transgender girl or woman to play on a team intended for biological females.

The final wording of the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” stripped away some of its most contentious elements, including a requirement that transgender athletes in high schools and colleges undergo testosterone or genetic testing and submit to having their genitalia examined.

But the legislation signed by the governor advances an underlying principle asserted by supporters: Biological differences between males and females make it unfair for athletes identified as boys at birth to compete on teams for girls and women. The law would not bar female athletes from playing on boys' or men's teams.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said the new law would not only harm transgender girls. “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.”

Democrats and LGBTQ advocates said the law is plainly discriminatory and will be challenged in court as unconstitutional.

“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 state Sen. Shevrin Jones after the bill's signing. “At the end of the day, transgender kids are just kids.”

The ban was tucked at the last minute of the legislative session into a measure allowing public universities and colleges to sponsor charter schools — a point the governor did not mention during the bill signing. It was the transgender athletes provision that was front and center in Tuesday's rhetoric.

“This bill is very simply about making sure that women can safely compete, have opportunities and physically be able to excel in a sport that they trained for, prepared for and work for,” said state Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Republican who championed the bill.

“This is nothing about anybody being discriminated against,” she said. “It’s solely so that women have an opportunity to compete in women’s sports.”

The Florida law mirrors an Idaho law, the first of its kind when enacted last year, that is now mired in legal challenges. Republican governors in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee recently signed similar measures.

Efforts by conservatives to restrict rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people have spawned numerous battles in key arenas — not only in the legislatures and courtrooms but also across the economy, and critics warned of looming consequences.

According to an Associated Press study, North Carolina stood to lose $3.8 billion over a dozen years because of a so-called “bathroom bill.” Those losses were averted when a 2019 settlement kept the state from barring transgender people from using bathrooms that conformed to their gender identity.

“Let me say very clearly: In Florida, we’re going to do what's right to stand up to corporations, they are not going to dictate the policies in this state,” DeSantis said while flanked by students at the religious school. “We will stand up to groups like the NCAA who think that they should be able to dictate the policies in different states. Not here, not ever.”

The NCAA currently requires transgender women to get drug treatment to lower their testosterone levels before they can compete in women’s sports, which is also a policy favored by the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, College Sports
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
In Brazil's Amazon, rivers rise to record levels
Rivers around the biggest city in Brazil's Amazon rainforest are swelling to levels unseen in over a century of record-keeping
11:55AM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: WHO gives authorization to Sinovac vaccine
The World Health Organization has issued an emergency use listing for the COVID-19 vaccine made by Sinovac in adults aged 18 and over, the second such authorization it has granted to a Chinese company
11:53AM ( 17 minutes ago )
AP Interview: Kremlin cracking down on dissent before vote
Russian authorities are cracking down on dissent before a crucial parliamentary election in September, in what a leading Kremlin critic has described as an attempt to sideline opponents
11:50AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Rublev knocked out in 1st round at French Open
Seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev has lost in the first round of the French Open
11:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Petra Kvitova out of French Open; ankle injury
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says on Instagram that she has pulled out of the French Open because of an ankle injury
10:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Top-ranked Barty moves into 2nd round in Paris
Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty has overcome a strong challenge from American Bernarda Pera to win her first match at Roland Garros since she claimed the 2019 French Open title
10:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Russia increases the pressure on opposition figures
Russian authorities are ramping up the pressure on dissent ahead of the country's parliamentary election in September, arresting one opposition activist and raiding several others’ homes
10:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
Justices reject Johnson & Johnson appeal of $2B talc verdict
The Supreme Court is leaving in place a $2 billion verdict in favor of women who say they developed ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson talc products
10:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
'Past the point of no return'? Iowa Dems feel hopes fading
There are signs of Democratic fatigue in Iowa, a state viewed for decades as a true political battleground
9:32AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
'Leave the building': Texas walkout escalates voting battles
A dramatic late-night walkout in the Texas Capitol that blocked sweeping new voting restrictions is giving Democrats a boost of morale after months of racking up losses in GOP-controlled statehouses around the country
6:25PM ( 17 hours ago )
Nevada OKs bill in try for 1st presidential nominating state
Nevada lawmakers have passed a bill aiming to make the state the first to weigh in on the 2024 presidential primary contests
5:41PM ( 18 hours ago )
California eyes shuttered malls, stores for new housing
With California facing a housing shortage, some state lawmakers want to make it easier for developers to build houses on commercial sites
4:53PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
WHO grants emergency approval to 2nd Chinese COVID vaccine
The World Health Organization has issued an emergency use listing for the COVID-19 vaccine made by Sinovac in adults 18 and over
11:17AM ( 53 minutes ago )
The Latest: Moderna seeks full FDA approval for its vaccine
American pharmaceutical company Moderna says it has begun the process to win full U.S. regulatory approval for the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in adults
10:31AM ( 1 hour ago )
UK's Heathrow Airport opens terminal for high-risk travelers
A terminal at London's Heathrow Airport that was mothballed because of the coronavirus pandemic has been reopened for passengers arriving from high-risk countries
8:47AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Health
Virginia beats Terps 17-16 to repeat as NCAA lacrosse champ
Matt Moore and Connor Shellenberger scored four goals apiece and goalie Alex Rode made a huge save in the final seconds as Virginia held off previously unbeaten Maryland 17-16 in the NCAA men’s lacrosse championship game
7:48PM ( 16 hours ago )
Arkansas top seed in NCAA Tournament after dominant SEC run
Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament champion Arkansas is the No. 1 national seed for the NCAA baseball tournament
2:59PM ( 21 hours ago )
SEC matches record with 7 teams named NCAA regional hosts
The Southeastern Conference matched its record with seven teams among 16 regional hosts for the NCAA baseball tournament
10:05PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
In Brazil's Amazon, rivers rise to record levels
Rivers around the biggest city in Brazil's Amazon rainforest are swelling to levels unseen in over a century of record-keeping
11:55AM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: WHO gives authorization to Sinovac vaccine
The World Health Organization has issued an emergency use listing for the COVID-19 vaccine made by Sinovac in adults aged 18 and over, the second such authorization it has granted to a Chinese company
11:53AM ( 17 minutes ago )
AP Interview: Kremlin cracking down on dissent before vote
Russian authorities are cracking down on dissent before a crucial parliamentary election in September, in what a leading Kremlin critic has described as an attempt to sideline opponents
11:50AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Stocks rise following strong report on US manufacturing
Stocks were mostly higher Tuesday morning as investors returned from a three-day holiday weekend in the U
11:47AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Vatican law criminalizes abuse of adults by priests, laity
Pope Francis has changed Catholic Church law to explicitly criminalize the sexual abuse of adults by priests who abuse their authority
11:40AM ( 30 minutes ago )