Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Transgender Athlete Law

Videos by OutKick

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law that bans transgender females from girls’ and women’s sports. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law SB 1028, which is an education bill covering a wide array of topics. One of those topics concerns transgender participation in female sports.

Specifically, the new law says that while athletic teams or sports designated for males, men or boys may be open to students of the female sex, athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex. Designation of sex, per the law, is based on the biological sex at the birth of team members and, for the purpose of the law, a statement of a student’s biological sex on the student’s official birth certificate is considered to have correctly stated the student’s biological sex at birth if the statement was filed at or near the time of the student’s birth.

The legislative intent and findings section of the law indicates that it is the intent of Florida’s legislature “to maintain opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and athletic abilities and to provide them with opportunities to obtain recognition and accolades, college scholarships, and the numerous other long-term benefits that result from participating and competing in athletic endeavors.”

It goes on to state that the Florida legislature “finds that maintaining the fairness for women athletic opportunities is an important state interest. The Legislature finds that requiring the designation of separate sex-specific athletic teams or sports is necessary to maintain fairness for women’s athletic opportunities.”

Florida has joined Idaho, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Montana in passing this type of legislation intended to prevent transgender athletes from participating in female athletic competitions. Idaho’s law has been challenged in court based on the allegation that it unconstitutionally discriminates against transgender girls and women. The law has been stayed while that case is up on appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Many other states are currently considering similar legislation.

Written by Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner is the founder of Heitner Legal. He is the author of How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know, published by the American Bar Association, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. You can reach him by email at heitner@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @DarrenHeitner.


Leave a Reply
  1. He’s the best governor on my lifetime. I live in Texas and Abbott has done a good job (not perfect but good). My 89 year dad lives in Florida and has lived his life pretty much unchanged this entire time. Whatever the political equivalent of pitching a perfect game is, that’s what he’s doing

Leave a Reply