June 18, 2021

Florida bans transgender athletes from female sports

A proposed ban on transgender athletes playing female school sports in Utah would affect transgender girls like this 12-year-old swimmer seen at a pool in Utah on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. She and her family spoke with The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to avoid outing her publicly. She cried when she heard about the proposal that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools, which would separate her from her friends. She’s far from the tallest girl on her team, and has worked hard to improve her times but is not a dominant swimmer in her age group, her coach said. “Other than body parts I’ve been a girl my whole life,” she said. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Florida has become the latest US state to ban transgender girls and women from participating in female sports at public schools and colleges.

The state’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis signed the measure into law on Tuesday.

The law says women and girls must play on the teams of the biological sex on their birth certificate.

LGBT activists have denounced the move as “discriminatory”, with one group vowing to launch a legal challenge.

“We believe that is very important that the integrity of these competitions are preserved,” Mr DeSantis said as he signed the law at a Christian school in Jacksonville city.

“We’re gonna go based on biology, not based on ideology when we’re doing sports.”

The move comes as Republican-led states push back against pro-LGBT policies supported by the administration of Democratic US President Joe Biden.

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