TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Bills in 25 states have been filed across the country seeking to ban transgender women from competing with biological women on school sports teams.
Florida is one of the states seeking the ban.
There have been recent instances grabbing public attention of transgender women taking titles in state and national women’s sports competitions. Those cases have spurred legislation in multiple states seeking to prohibit or limit transgender athletes from competing in women-only leagues.
“We recognize that there are some physiological differences in strength,” State Senator Kelli Stargel said.
Stargel is sponsoring the legislation in the Florida Senate.
“We want to have women to have an advantage and be able to participate within their own network of strength and safety,” Stargel said.
But Democratic Representative Anna Eskamani sees the efforts as discriminatory.
“The fact that we’re hand-picking cases that have become sensational in the right-wing media to draw this dynamic of anti-trans rhetoric is really dangerous to equity across the country,” Eskamani said.
The House version of the bill would outright ban transgender women from competing in girls’ sports. The Senate version would allow it, so long as the athletes maintain a low testosterone level.
Eskamani said while there are some restrictions at the professional level surrounding trans-athletes, when it comes to kids it’s different.
“Excluding kids from playing a sport they want to play because they’re in the process of gender transition, feels really wrong,” Eskamani said.
Neither bill has been scheduled for a hearing, although Mississippi has enacted a similar law, and in South Dakota legislation is currently awaiting that Governor’s signature. In Connecticut, there is an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging whether permitting transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports violates Title IX.
The U.S. Department of Education under the Biden Administration recently withdrew its involvement in that case.