FL GOP Passes Anti-Trans Sports Bill At 11th Hour

LGBTQ+ activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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April 29, 2021 4:14 p.m.

In yet another attack in the GOP’s new culture war, Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill targeting transgender female athletes at the 11th hour on Wednesday night.

Florida Politics reports that during a session on a bill on charter schools, Florida state Rep. Kaylee Tuck (R) added an amendment at the last minute that would prohibit transgender women and girls from women’s sports.

The amendment passed in the House and Senate largely along party lines, according to Florida Politics, and now it awaits Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature.

If the bill becomes law, a female student athlete whose gender identity does not match her biological sex on her birth certificate is banned from competing in women’s sports.

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Like the dozens of other discriminatory bills that ban trans people (usually trans women in particular) from participating in sports teams that align with their gender, Florida’s measure purports to establish “fairness” in athletics on the assumption that transgender female athletes have an advantage over their cis peers.

Several other GOP-controlled states, including Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, have already passed those bans. And the anti-trans measures aren’t limited to discrimination in sports: Arkansas’ law bars health care workers from providing gender-affirming medical treatment to minors, and Republicans legislators in other states are aiming for the same bans.

Though the GOP’s increasingly aggressive targeting of trans people signals the party’s desperation for culture wars in the post-Trump era, the push doesn’t actually seem to be popular among Americans across Party lines: A poll conducted by PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist earlier this month shows that a majority of Americans, including Republicans, don’t support several themes of the anti-trans laws. Americans across the board were especially not supportive of efforts to ban trans students from participating in sports that align with their gender.

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