Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill barring biological males who identify as females from participating in female sporting events sponsored by public institutions and vowed not to back down to pressure from the NCAA amid threats to pull tournaments from states that enact such legislation.
DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1028, also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, in Jacksonville. Among other things, the bill bars trans-identified biological males who identify as female from competing in women’s and girls’ sports offered by public institutions.
The new law requires that intramural, intercollegiate, interscholastic and club athletic teams and sports sponsored by public institutions must be designated “based on the biological sex at birth of team members.”
“Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex,” states SB 1028.
“For purposes of this section, 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.”
Recently, several states have considered, and some have enacted, legislation aimed at preventing biological males from competing in sports designed for biological females.
In response, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors released a statement earlier this year saying they would consider pulling NCAA championship events and tournaments from states that pass such laws.
The statement explained that NCAA policy “directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.”
“We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants,” concluded the NCAA.
Regarding the potential backlash from the NCAA, DeSantis told Fox News in an interview Tuesday night that lawmakers should not be “cowed by these organizations, or particularly by woke corporations from doing the right thing.”
“My view was throughout this whole time. We have to protect our girls. It is discriminatory to force them to compete against biological males,” DeSantis said.