A recent bill barring those who identify as transgender from being able to compete in sports opposite of their biological sex has just been passed from the Florida State House of Representatives, causing a massive controversy between the political divide.
The bill’s main proponent is banning transgender women from participating in women’s sports. The Florida HB 1475 bill, titled the Fairness in Women’s sports act, passed the Florida State House last week in a vote that divided mostly along party lines, 77-40. All of the state’s house democrats opposed the bill except for one, and all house Republicans voted in favor of the bill. State House Republicans claim it would uphold Women’s sports by keeping transgender women out of Women’s sports.
They claim that the average male is stronger, faster and taller than the average woman, which, they say, is the whole reason we have women’s sports is for that reason. Proponents of the bill argue that if men can just come into womens sports by saying they are women, then the entire reason we have women’s sports goes down the drain. This was a claim by Republican State Representative Jenna Persons-Mulicka, saying, “This is about giving women and girls an equal chance to succeed. It’s simple, it’s clear, I’ve reviewed it”.
This bill has caused much criticism from the LGBTQ community. Some of the criticisms are that it would bully transgender people and not allow them to be who they are and what they are. They also have claimed that the bill only does this for women’s sports and nothing in the bill says transgender men can’t compete with males. Though the biggest threat this bill holds is that students will have to be subject to doctors seeing their genitalia through physicals. A dispute regarding a student’s sex shall be resolved by the student’s school or institution by requesting that the student provide a health examination and consent form or other statement signed by the student’s personal health care provider which must verify the student’s biological sex.
The health care provider may verify the student’s biological sex as part of a routine sports physical examination by relying only on one or more of the following: (1) The student’s reproductive anatomy; (2) The student’s genetic makeup; (3) The student’s normal endogenously produced testosterone levels. The second criticism is that these students are deeply troubled and that if they claim to be a male of female they are already deeply harmed, and that checking transgender students biological gender could cause many mental health problems.
ARTICLE: ERIC OTT
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ORLANDO SENTINEL