DeSantis to reporter: Law banning transgender women from girls' sports about fairness
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Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said a law he signed Tuesday limiting girls’ sports at public schools to biological girls was a matter of fairness, not a slam on LGBT people.
A reporter suggested DeSantis’ signing of the law was a slap in the LGBT community’s face since June 1 marked the first day of Pride Month.
“What message are you sending to LGBT people signing this on the first day of Pride Month?” a reporter asked at the signing in Jacksonville.
“It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness in women’s sports. We believe that it’s important to have integrity in competition, and we think that it’s important to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis, considered a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate, said the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would help protect equal opportunities for women to obtain college athletic scholarships.
“In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports, and boys are going to play boys’ sports,” he said. “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, not based off ideology, when we’re doing sports. The bill defines a student’s biological sex based on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.”
The issue of transgender females competing in girls’ sports led to a major media controversy last week, when USA Today edited track athlete Chelsea Mitchell’s op-ed to change her references to “males” to “transgenders.” In the piece, Mitchell argued it was unfair for her to compete against biological men due to their inherent physical advantages.
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Connecticut student athlete Selina Soule spoke at DeSantis’s signing on Tuesday.
“A bad policy in my state of Connecticut has robbed me, my teammates as well as every other female track athlete in my state of the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” Soule said.
Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.
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