Florida’s House voted to advance an anti-trans bill on Wednesday that would ban trans girls from competing on women’s sports teams and could allow schools to require proof of a student’s biological sex. The legislation advanced as dozens of other anti-trans bills are being proposed across the U.S.
Florida’s GOP-controlled House voted 77-40 to pass the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act; nearly every Republican representative voted in favor of the bill (except for two who did not vote). The state Senate will next consider the bill, which if passed, will reach Gov. Ron DeSantis who could sign it into law
The bill, if it becomes law, would “maintain opportunities for female athletes” by banning trans girls from competing on women-only sports teams. The bill would also allow the school or another party to “dispute” a student’s gender, which would then require the student to provide proof of biological sex from a health care provider through either a physical exam, a genetic test, or proof of testosterone levels.
One of the bill’s opponents, Rep. Omari Hardy (D), said it would subject kids to “genital inspections.”
We gave everything we had to give. We reasoned, we shouted, we pleaded, we cried, we broke down & left the House Floor. But today, FL Republicans passed a bill not only banning trans kids from playing sports but subjecting kids whose sex may be disputed to genital inspections.
— Rep. Omari Hardy (@OmariJHardy) April 15, 2021
“This bill is codifying into law the ability for academic settings and schools to be able to bully and to harm our most vulnerable children,” Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby (D) said in a statement. “Children are children. Transgender, cisgender. And they deserve to be loved, supported, and honored for who they are.”
While anti-trans legislation has been proposed by GOP leaders in several states, a recent PBS NewsHour/ NPR/ Marist poll found that a majority of Republican voters oppose anti-trans laws. According to the poll, 70% of Republicans are against prohibiting transition-related health care for minors, and 66% are against legislation that would prohibit trans athletes from competing on teams of their gender identity. Overall, two-thirds of Americans are against anti-trans legislation.