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Florida GOP Makes Last Minute Deal To Ban Transgender Athletes From Competing In Women’s Sports

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In a last minute deal, Republicans in the Florida legislature approved a bill to ban transgender females from competing in girl’s and women’s sports sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ to sign into law.

The bill passed the House by a 79-37 vote. After a nearly two-hour debate the Senate passed the measure by a 23-16 vote. Both votes were mostly by party line.

“We don’t need to wait until there’s a problem in Florida for us to act,” Rep. Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, sponsor of the original House bill, said. Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said: “I thought it was common knowledge that men are stronger than women. We’re just trying to protect them.”

According to news4Jax, “The measure approved by the GOP-led Legislature Wednesday stripped some of the most contentious elements from a proposal approved by the House two weeks ago. Provisions removed included a requirement that transgender athletes in high schools and colleges undergo testosterone or genetic testing, as well as submit to having their genitalia examined.

“Under the proposal in Florida, a transgender student athlete would have to affirm her biological sex by supplying proof such as a birth certificate. The proposal also would allow another student to sue if a school allows a transgender girl or woman to play on a team intended for biological females.”

“If they want to play, let them play, there’s nothing to stop them,” said Sen. Victor Torres, D-Kissimmee, who has a transgender granddaughter. “We thought it was dead, but obviously some don’t care.”

“Despite hearing the voices of trans kids and their families time and time again, extremists in the Legislature have made it their mission to make trans children pawns in their culture war,” Gina Duncan, director of transgender equality of Equality Florida, an LGBTQ rights advocacy group said.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, said:

“We are told it’s a compromise because we’re no longer inspecting the genitals of children in schools.

“Members, not inspecting children’s genitals is not a compromise. The fact that we were doing it in the first place is absolutely insane.”

“We’ve spent more time on this amendment than we have on unemployment in the Senate,” said Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach.

“How many tens of thousands of our constituents have died in the last year?

“This is so completely unnecessary to the good hard work our constituents want us to do.”