TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Republicans moved togirls and women from playing on public school teams intended for student-athletes born as girls, sending the proposal to Gov. rights.
The measure approved by the GOP-led Legislature Wednesday stripped some of the most contentious elements from a proposal approved by the House two weeks ago. Provisions removed included a requirement thatin high schools and colleges undergo testosterone or genetic testing and submit to having their genitalia examined.
The latest iteration of the legislation retained an underlying principle asserted by the bill’s supporters: Biological and scientific differences between males and females made it unfair for athletes born as boys toand women.
Under the proposal in Florida, awould have to affirm her biological sex by supplying proof such as a birth certificate. The proposal also would allow another student to sue if a school allows a or woman to play on a team intended for biological females. The bill sends an ugly message of exclusion, telling trans kids that who they are is not OK and that they need to change who they are,” said Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who dismissed the effort as mean-spirited.
But supporters in the Senate saw it differently.
“This is a pro-female, pro-woman bill,” said Sen. Keith Perry, a Republican.
Sen. Kelli Stargel, who carried the proposal in the Senate, said there was no intent to harm transgender children but to recognize the physiological differences between the sexes andand women an equal opportunity to excel in sports.
“We’re not trying to make them feel rejected,” Stargel said.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, another Republican, has similar legislation on his desk.
Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, signed a bill banning from competing in female sports in middle and high schools and colleges.
Idaho was the first state to ban such a law but remains mired in.
Earlier this month, the national effort prompted the NCAA to warn schools that it would consider moving championship events out of states that adopt discriminatory policies.
The Florida High School Association allows “all eligiblein a manner consistent with their gender identity and expression, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s birth certificate and records.”
A separate Senate proposal stalled in committee, prompting House Republicans to muscle through another attempt in the waning days of the legislative session scheduled to adjourn Friday.