Florida becomes 4th state to ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the press after giving his State of the State speech on the first day of the 2021 Legislative Session in Tallahassee, Fla. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis chose the first day of Pride Month to sign a bill that would ban transgender females from women’s and girls’ sports.

The bill, which passed the Republican-controlled Florida legislature in April, prevents transgender women and girls from playing women’s and girls’ school sports if they do not identify with the sex assigned on their birth certificate.

“We believe in the state of Florida of protecting the fairness and integrity of women’s athletics,” said DeSantis said before signing the bill at Trinity Christian Academy, a school in Jacksonville. “I can tell you that in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”

West Virginia, Montana, Idaho have similar laws banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

“By signing a heartless ban on transgender kids in sports, Gov. Ron DeSantis is marginalizing an entire community,” Democratic Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said on Twitter.

“Signing it on the first day of Pride is especially cruel,” Fried, who is expected to announce her run for governor Tuesday, added.

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