TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News et 10) – A local group speaks after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s public school sports.
The governor signed the bill on Tuesday, saying the new rules would also allow girls to have a playground in Florida, but a local organization disagreed.
PFLAG Tampa is an organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people, partners, and family members. It’s depressing, it’s annoying, says Trevor James, who works with the organization. It’s also at least concerning how it affects trans lives.
On the first day of Pride Month 2021, a bill banning transgender girls from participating in girls’ and women’s public school sports became law in Florida. The new law stipulates that a student must show a birth certificate to determine if they were female at birth.
“It almost feels like a slap in the face,” James said.
The law would not biologically prevent female athletes from playing in either boys’ or men’s teams. Governor DeSantis defended the new law, citing examples in other states across the country.
Governor DeSantis said, “You’ll have these obviously unfair track races, and all these other things, where these girls are trained and then they’re not able to move on.”
“It’s different physically. Men are stronger, lung capacity is bigger, muscles are stronger. It’s common sense,” Senator Kelly Stargall of Florida said at a Tuesday press conference.
James says the law is unnecessary in Florida.
“We don’t really have a lot of trans people who are playing the game and it’s a non-issue, but it’s different not being allowed to play the game because of who you are,” James said.
They say the new law is discriminatory and could harm a child’s development.
“School is where these people are really finding themselves. You’re getting into yourself, you’re going through puberty, you’re going through a lot of changes and to add on top of that, really mental health. Honestly relates to the effects,” James said.
James says the organization is supporting a lawsuit being filed by the Human Rights Campaign against the state of Florida for a bill it considers unacceptable.
“This is once again taking away from trans youth,” James said.
The law applies to public secondary and high schools, colleges and universities and is due to take effect from July 1.
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