Bill aims to prohibit transgender student-athletes

Photo courtesy Florida Politics

Almost a month ago, The Fairness in Female Sports Act was filed by the state House of Representatives’ Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee requiring that certain educational institutions’ athletic teams or sports be classified based on students biological sex. If approved, this would prohibit athletic teams or sports appointed for female students from being open to male students.

Florida is one of 25 states proposing laws that will prohibit transgender people from participating in women’s-only sports programs.

Sponsors of the bill claim it levels the competitive landscape, but opponents claim it’s unconstitutional.

Kaylee Tuck, a Republican from Highlands County and the bill’s sponsor, said to achieve justice for biologically female athletes, the transgender athletic ban is required.

“There are inherent biological differences between men and women. The ‘Fairness in Women Sports Act’ supports women and girls by ensuring they have the same opportunities as men and boys to showcase their skill, strength, and other athletic abilities,” Tuck said before the committee’s 13-4 vote in favor of the bill (HB 1475).

Photo courtesy The Florida House of Representatives

State lawmakers have submitted an unprecedented amount of bills this year that will affect transgender people’s rights, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization.

So far this legislative session, 82 such bills have been proposed, outranking the number of 79 presented last year.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign president, said The Fairness in Female Sports Act highlights the fact of how fierce the critics are and how vigorously the LGBT organization has to continue to fight for their rights.

“Today’s milestone serves as a reminder of the intensity of our opposition and just how hard we must continue to work to overcome discrimination and exclusion. Progress in the fight for equality has always come in fits and starts but nevertheless marches forward. We know we are on the right side of history,” David said.

The Senate’s bill cites the Olympic Committee’s testosterone rule as a reason for athletes to be medically qualified to obtain doctor’s assurance that they’re a female.

The purpose for this bill is to allow females the opportunity to showcase their skills by being able to compete in their own strong and secure infrastructure. As many lawmakers such as state Senator Kelli Stargel have noticed that certain physiological variations in intensity exist between transgenders.

Raylin Curtis, a pre-physical therapy student at FAMU, said it is unfair for transgender athletes to be able to play on a female sports team.

“When you think about it if we allow transgender to be on female teams we are taking away from all the females that have a chance of getting a scholarship in that feel or competing at a higher level. What a male does I wouldn’t expect for a female to be able to do because we all have different skills. Thats why it is a difference between male sports and female sports, it needs to stay that way,” Curtis said.

If approved by both chambers and signed by the governor, the Fairness in Female Sports Act would go into effect July 1.