Governor DeSantis signs ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act’, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus calls it ‘shameful’

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1028 creating the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” and preserving fair opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and abilities in athletic competition.

The bill specifies that an athletic team or sport that is designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex, based on the student’s biological sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.

The bill applies the requirements 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.

“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,” said Governor DeSantis.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. Many thanks to Senator Stargel and Representative Tuck for their thoughtful work on this bill to ensure fairness in women’s sports.”

Multiple polls have stated more than 60 percent of Americans believe that biological males should not be participating in women’s sports.

After the signing of SB 1028, the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus came out criticizing DeSantis’ saying, “It’s shameful that Governor DeSantis chose the first day of Pride Month to sign the discriminatory trans sports ban into law, said Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill.

“This transphobic legislation aims to fix a problem that doesn’t exist, and instead harms children just wanting to play sports. It’s clear the Governor and his Republican enablers in the Legislature are dismissive of Florida’s large and visible LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is steeped in acceptance, but it is also a statement among our community that we will fight for our civil rights. We are watching, we are working, and we are putting discriminatory politicians on notice.”

Full Highlights of SB 1028 include:
  • 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.
  • Strengthens educational opportunities for military families by allowing state universities to expand high-quality developmental laboratory schools to serve communities around military installations.
  • Paves innovative pathways for students to access industry certification and workforce education by allowing Florida College System and State University System institutions to sponsor charter schools to meet regional workforce demands.
  • Empowers students to pursue high-wage STEM professions by expanding access to the Florida Private Student Assistance Program grant award to include full-time certificate-seeking students at an aviation maintenance school.
  • Requires each public school to provide parents with information on the role swimming lessons and water safety education plays in saving lives, including free and reduced cost options for swimming lessons and safety courses.

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