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Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill banning transgender athletes from playing on certain teams

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Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 21:48:05-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1028 into law on Tuesday morning, bans trans-female athletes in public high school or college from playing in women’s sports.

DeSantis said the bill would empower women and girls to compete on a level playing field.

"In Florida, you know, girls are gonna play girls sports, and boys are gonna play boys sports," DeSantis said.

According to the bill, an athlete's sex will be determined by their official birth certificate at the time or near the time of birth.

The bill also allows for civil remedies if a student is "deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a violation" of the law.

Previously, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors said it would consider pulling championships from states that ban athletes who are transgender from participating in women's or girls' sports.

"Some of these organizations say they're not gonna hold events if you do this, and just let me just say very clearly — in Florida, we're going to do what's right," DeSantis said. "We'll stand up to groups like the NCAA who think that they should be able to dictate the policies in different states. Not here, not ever."

DeSantis has already gotten backlash on social media for signing the bill on the first day of Pride Month.

Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Nikki Fried, tweeted minutes after the bill was signed, calling the ban "heartless."

The Human Rights Campaign said it would be filing a lawsuit to block the bill.

The bill will take effect on July 1.

Emily McCain with WFTS first reported this story.