The Florida House passed legislation on Wednesday aimed at prohibiting transgender athletes from playing on girls’ sports teams.
The bill (HB 1475), which has been one of the most contentious issues this Legislative Session, passed by a 77-40 vote, preventing transgender athletes from competing in female K-12 or college sports teams, requiring them to play teams sports based on their biological sex. The vote in the House followed party lines, with only one Democrat breaking ranks.
Proponents say the measure creates a more level playing field in female sports, while opponents argue that it discriminates against transgender kids who are already marginalized.
The bill, sponsored by Republican State Representative Kaylee Tuck, is part of a larger GOP effort to curb transgender participation in women’s scholastic sports. The controversial issue has led to many in the sporting community speaking out against such legislation, with the NCAA warning this week that it could pull championship events from states that pass trans athlete measures.
Following the emotional vote, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the lone statewide Democrat, took to Twitter to chide Republicans, calling them “completely out of touch.”
Like many of their so-called “priority issues” this legislative session, the Florida Republican bill banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ sports is morally wrong & completely out of touch with real issues facing Floridians. Full statement.⬇️ pic.twitter.com/JfqblGLI68
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) April 14, 2021
A Senate companion bill was postponed on Wednesday after a lengthy Senate Rules Committee timed out. A new committee hearing for the Senate’s version of the bill has not yet been scheduled.
Florida is one of at least 30 states debating a ban on transgender athletes.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.