Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would bar transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports at schools and universities across Florida.
DeSantis, a Republican, signed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” on Tuesday morning in Jacksonville, saying that in schools, “girls are going to play girls’ sports, and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”
The Florida state Legislature passed a measure in April that prevents transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports, saying that it would be unfair and argued that biological males possess significant physical advantages over females.
“We believe in the state of Florida protecting the fairness and integrity of women’s athletics,” said DeSantis in Jacksonville alongside several female athletes at the Trinity Christian Academy.
State Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Republican who sponsored the legislation, noted that “we all know that men are stronger than women.”
“I’ve always heard as a kid, ‘You run like a girl,’” she said, referring to a video showing Selina Soule, a Connecticut track athlete who filed a lawsuit over biologically male transgender athletes competing in high school girls’ sports.
“And when you’re looking at that video,” Stargel said, “it’s evident the woman, the transgender woman who competed, or self-identified woman, ran very differently than the others in the competition. It’s physiologically different. Men are stronger, they have bigger lung capacity, stronger muscles.”