(WKRG) — For the first time in 24 years an anti-LGBTQ+ bill has passed in the state of Florida.
Equality Florida is the states largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization and since the recent signing of the Florida education bill, which bans transgender women to compete in high school or college sports they say its pushing the state back.
“I can tell you this in Florida girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boy sports and that’s what we are doing and make sure that’s a reality,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
However, for organizations like Equality Florida they say this is a bill that is preventing any progression.
“It’s a marathon and it’s not a sprint, and often times it’s two steps up and one step back,” Director of Transgender equality of Equality Florida Gina Duncan says.
Over the last decade, only 11 transgender athletes have gone through the process of participating in sports across the state of Florida.
“What makes this bill so harmful is that those transgender athletes as of this July with this bill being signed into law will be kicked off the teams they have been participating on over these years,” The friendships, the teamwork, the comradery, they have built with their teams… They will be excluded, they will be segregated.”
However, others beleive the signing of the bill will make sure everyone has a fair chance.
Gov. Ron DeSantis had a Connecticut high school track athlete come speak out on her own personal experiences on participating against transgender athletes.
Selina Soule stated, “I missed advancing to the next level of the competition onto the 55-meter dash by just two spots. Two spots that were taken by biological males. Those two biological males would dominate on the field and leave us girls to compete on third place and beyond.”
Duncan tells WKRG that hasn’t been the case at all in the state of Florida.
“Neither bill sponsor could cite a single issue involving a transgender women athlete in the state of Florida ever. Not once not ever in the state of Florida,” Duncan said.
Adding the signing of the bill sends out a skewed message that pushes the community back even more.
“When we find where someone knows a transgender… has a transgender friend, a transgender relative, a transgender child certainly… their perspective changes and they better understand that transgender people are just like anyone else.”
They have been fighting the bill and will continue as much as they can.
For more information about Equality Florida, click here.