Males who identify as female couldn’t play on girls’ and women’s school sports teams under a bill passed by a Florida House committee on Wednesday.
The bill, called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, would require anyone participating in girls’ and women’s sports at the K-12 and college level to be biologically female.
“The act is pro-women and pro-girls and only acknowledges the biological differences between men and women,” Republican Rep. Kaylee Tuck, the bill’s sponsor, said.
Democrats slammed the proposal, calling it discriminatory against transgender girls and women.
Republicans in Congress and more than 20 state legislatures are pushing for similar measures.
he House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee voted 13-4 to approve the bill, with all “no” votes cast by Democrats.
The measure is based on an Idaho law that has been blocked by a federal court while a lawsuit challenging its legality proceeds.
Tuck used Allyson Felix as an example. Felix is the only woman to win six track and field gold medals in the Olympics.
“Allyson Felix is the fastest woman in the world … but yet the personal best in the 400 meters can be beaten by hundreds of high school boys,” Tuck said.
“If we allow biological males to compete in athletic events against biological females, we may never see another Allyson Felix again.”
Democratic Rep. Marie Paule Woodson condemned the bill.
“Transgender have been ridiculed, they have been bullied, they are hated by so many, and if we’re talking about love — loving each other — it should not be based on condition of who you are,” Woodson said. “This bill will only marginalize and demonize the transgender community.”
Conservatives lawmakers across the nation are responding to an executive order by Democratic President Joe Biden that bans discrimination based on “gender identity” in school sports and elsewhere, which he signed the day he took office.
Mississippi became the first state this year to enact such a ban when the state’s governor signed it into law last week.
The Florida bill has two more committee stops in the House. A similar Senate bill hasn’t received its first hearing.