(CNS News) -- Legislation that would prohibit transgender "females" (biological males) from playing on real women's sports teams was passed by Florida's House and Senate on Wednesday, Apr. 28, and now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The governor reportedly supports the proposal, according to the Miami Herald.
Also on Wednesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed a bill nearly identical to Florida's into law.
“To think this is anti- anything is wrong,” said Florida State Sen. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville). “This is a pro-female, pro-woman bill.”
The legislation is actually an amendment to a larger education bill (SB 1028). The amendment has been named the "Fairness in Women's Sports Act." The bill, SB 1028, passed in the Florida House 79-37 and then in the Senate 23-16 on Wednesday evening.
The proposed law says, "It is the intent of the Legislature to provide opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and athletic abilities and to provide them with opportunities to obtain recognition and accolades, college scholarships, and the numerous other long-term benefits that result from participating and competing in athletic endeavors."
To help ensure those opportunities are there for women, the legislation says that K-12 and public university sports teams must be designated male, female, or coed: "Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex."
Student athletes may use their birth certificates to identify their sex.
Similar legislation has already become the law in Idaho, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and West Virginia. About 12 other states are considering nearly identical legislation.
Commenting on the West Virginia bill he signed into law to keep biological males (transgender females) out of female sports, Gov. Justice said, “From the standpoint of how I feel about it personally … I just can’t possibly get through my head that it is the right thing for us at a middle school level or a high school level in our state for me not to support the bill… So, I do support the bill.”
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb said of the West Virginia bill, "When the law ignores biological differences, women and girls bear the brunt of the harm. We have seen increasing examples across the country of males dominating girls’ athletic competitions when competing as females, capturing championships and shattering long-standing female track records."
"Comparably fit and trained males will always have physical advantages over females—that’s the reason we have girls’ sports," said Holcomb. "When we ignore biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete."
"In the face of ongoing pressure from woke corporations and special interests to reject this type of legislation, we commend Gov. Justice, Rep. Caleb Hanna, Sen. Amy Grady, Sen. Patricia Rucker, and many other supporters in the Legislature for ensuring that women and girls will not face those losses in West Virginia," said Holcomb.
Although Florida's DeSantis is expected to sign the legislation in the coming days, Gina Duncan, director of Transgender Equality with Equality Florida, said, "Florida lawmakers are still Hell-bent on passing this discriminatory bill. Despite hearing the voices of trans kids and their families time and time again, extremists in the legislature have made it their mission to make trans children pawns in their culture war."
The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ lobby group, said, "Under the guise of an education bill, the Florida House and Senate rushed to pass SB 1028. Ultimately, this bill will not just hurt transgender kids; it will hurt all Floridians because the consequences of this law — economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation — will ripple across the state."