As Pride Month kicked off on Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports.
The legislation, titled the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, orders athletes to compete in sports correlating to their biological sex, Faithwire reports.
"I can tell you this in Florida," DeSantis said during a press conference Monday. "Girls are going to play girls' sports and boys are going to play boys' sports. That's what we're doing."
Since June 1 kicks off LGBT Pride Month, a reporter asked the Republican governor if the bill's signing had anything to do with the beginning of the nationally recognized celebration for the LGBTQ+ community.
In response, DeSantis asserted that it is "not a message to anything other than we're gonna protect fairness in women's sports."
"We believe that it's important to have integrity in the competition and we think it's important that they're able to compete on a level playing field," he continued. "You've seen what's happened when you don't have that."
Reporter asks Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) what message he’s sending to the LGBTQ community by signing an anti-trans bill during Pride month. pic.twitter.com/rZyLSSBxNK— The Recount (@therecount) June 1, 2021
DeSantis also highlighted the story of Terry Miller, a high school track athlete from Connecticut who is currently involved in a lawsuit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
Miller, along with Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell and Selina Soule, filed the lawsuit in February 2020 alleging that they were denied opportunities of competing at higher levels because biological males identifying as female were taking prizes from biological females.
Soule, who attended DeSantis' press conference, described losing to transgender females as "frustrating" and "demoralizing."
Democrats criticized DeSantis for signing the bill, especially since it was passed at the beginning of Pride month.
Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who plans to run against DeSantis for governor in Florida, argued it was "especially cruel" for the measure to be signed on June 1.
"By signing a heartless ban on transgender kids in sports, Gov. DeSantis is marginalizing an entire community," she said. "Florida should stand for inclusivity, equality, and liberty — not peddling hate for political points."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Cliff Hawkins/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.