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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday creating the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” to preserve fair opportunities for female students in athletic competition.
The bill — SB 1028 — specifies that an athletic team or sport that is designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to biological males. Biological sex will be based on the sex listed on the person’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.
“As a father of two daughters, I want my girls, and every girl in Florida, to compete on an even playing field for the opportunities available to young women in sports,” DeSantis said. “Women have fought for decades to have equal opportunities in athletics, and we have to prevent those opportunities from being eroded as is happening in other states. It’s common sense.”
The “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” applies to interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by a public secondary school, high school, public college, or university institution. The bill provides civil remedies for those who suffer harm by violations of the section of law.
The Governor’s office said multiple polls have stated more than 60% of Americans believe that biological males should not participate in women’s sports.
The bill maintains 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 numerous other long-term benefits that result from participating and competing in athletic endeavors.
Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Chris Sprowls said he’s thankful to Rep. Kaylee Tuck and Sen. Kelli Stargel for protecting Florida’s female athletes and applauded DeSantis and Senate President Wilton Simpson for ensuring that the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the state’s female athletes is “rewarded and celebrated.”
“Today, Florida sends a clear signal that we will protect girls’ athletics and the female students who seek to showcase their skills and talents on a level playing field,” Sprowls said.
Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez said she’s proud to stand with DeSantis in protecting the integrity of women’s sports.
“Having a daughter who has played competitive sports her entire life, I’ve seen firsthand the profound impact that sports have on our young girls in every facet of life,” Nuñez said. “I am proud to stand with Governor DeSantis in protecting the fairness, safety, competitiveness, and integrity of women’s sports.”