DeSantis Signs Bill Barring Biological Males From Female Sports in Florida

January 7, 2022 Updated 8:34 PM ET

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law Tuesday that will prohibit Florida public schools from allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports. The signing ceremony took place in Jacksonville this morning. The law will take effect July 1st

Defending the new measure, DeSantis stressed the need to protect fairness and equal opportunity in sports. The law comes among an increasingly popular movement among Republicans stressing human biology and equality of opportunity in American institutions. “We’re gonna go based off biology, not based off ideology, when we’re doing sports,” DeSantis said. 

Other states have crafted similar legislation, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia. These bills have been met with vehement opposition from Democrats.

DeSantis made clear that the bill not only protects women’s sports by setting a standard, but it is helping women who have been wronged by having to compete against biological men. He explained that the law will allow Floridians “civil remedies” if they can prove they have been wronged in violation of the new rule.

The ceremony then showcased a video of biological men, such as Terry Miller, competing against biological women in track races. The female competitors came distantly behind the biological male competitors. “It just wasn’t a level playing field … it wasn’t fair,” said the governor.

The GOP-led Florida legislature has decided to pass the bill to protect women’s sports, despite the NCAA claiming they will relocate championship games away from states who “discriminate” against athletes. It has not been made clear whether requiring women’s sports in public schools to only allow biological women to participate fits the NCAA’s definition of discrimination.

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