(USA Features) Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill prohibiting biological males from competing in female sports leagues and competitions on the first day of LGBTQ recognition month.
“The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” tweeted DeSantis ahead of a press conference. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”
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The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field. This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 1, 2021
“We believe in the state of Florida, of protecting the fairness and the integrity of women’s athletics,” DeSantis said during the press conference. “And I can tell you this in Florida, you know, girls are going to play girl’s sports and boys are going play boy’s sports, that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality.
“So the bill that we’re doing today will ensure fairness for women athletes for years to come in the state of Florida. It says that athletic teams or sports that are designated for females are open to females. And we’re going to go based off biology,” he added.
“The bill defines a student’s biological sex based on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth,” DeSantis continued. “And as part of the bill we’re signing today, we’re not only making sure women have opportunities for scholarships and competition at the highest level, we’re also putting in statute ways to actually vindicate the rights of any women athletes who may be discriminated against.
“So moving forward, any student who’s deprived of an athletic opportunity, as a result of a violation of this law will have the right to civil remedies. Any school or public post-secondary institution that suffers direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation of this bill, including by a governmental entity, accrediting organization or athletic association, can also pursue civil remedies,” the popular GOP governor added.
“Any student who is subject to retaliation as a result of reporting a violation of this bill can also pursue civil remedies.”
The governor also pushed back against organizations like the NCAA who threatened him with pulling venues if he signed the bill.
“Some of these organizations say they’re not going to hold events if you do this, just let me say very clearly, in Florida, we’re going to do what’s right, we’ll stand up to corporations, they are not going to dictate the policies in this state,” DeSantis said.
“We will stand up to groups like the NCAA, who think that they should be able to dictate the policies in different states.”