TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida House passed a bill Wednesday that would ban transgender females from competing in girls’ and women’s school sports at all levels.
HB 1475 is sponsored by Fla. Rep. Kaylee Tuck (R-Sebring), passed by a margin of 77-40 in the Republican-led legislature. Every Bay Area representative voted along party lines, with the exception of Fla. Rep. James Buchanan (R-Venice), who did not vote.
The bill requires that any teams participating in school-sponsored sports “shall be expressly designated” as male, female, or coed/mixed “based on biological sex.”
The bill does not define that term, but transgender advocates say “biological sex” is a disputed term when it refers to a person’s sex assigned at birth, since transgender people think and believe they are the sex with which they identify and the brain is part of human biology.
The bill requires any student whose sex has been challenged to provide verification from a health care provider “relying only on one or more of the following:
- The student’s reproductive anatomy;
- The student’s genetic makeup; or
- The student’s normal endogenously produced testosterone levels.”
Florida House Democrats vehemently opposed the bill during floor debate, introducing several amendments that were all voted down, including one that would have eliminated the possibility of a forced genital inspection.
There’s a companion bill, SB 2012, sponsored by Fla. Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland).
Transgender advocates argue even that proposal would place an undue burden on older transgender athletes, and is inappropriate for younger ones.
Florida is one of 25 states considering legislation that would ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s only leagues.