Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida signed legislation on Tuesday, June 1 that will prevent biological males from competing in women’s sports events, drawing praise from Americans who have become frustrated with other republican governor’s reluctance to take a firm stance on either side of the issue.
“The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis said in a Twitter post on Tuesday. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”
During the signing ceremony, DeSantis stated, “In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports – we’re going to make sure that that’s the reality.” DeSantis signed the Fairness In Women’s Sports Act in June 1, the first day in what is recognized by many corporations and media outlets as LGBT “Pride Month.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signs a bill that will ban transgender students from participating in girls’ youth sports. pic.twitter.com/hXNaIHZdn9
— The Recount (@therecount) June 1, 2021
DeSantis’ action on the polarizing social issue is markedly different than other Republican governors who have been asked to sign similar legislation in 2021. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the Arkansas Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act, which would have banned the chemical castration of minors, stating, “I don’t shy away from the battle when it is necessary and defensible, but the most recent action of the general assembly, while well-intended, is off course and I must veto House Bill 1570.”
Hutchinson’s veto would later be overridden by the overwhelming margin of 71-24 in the Arkansas Senate, and he would be repeatedly challenged by Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a heated televised debate that saw many Republican voters turn against Hutchinson.
South Dakota governor Kristi Noem also drew conservative ire for fighting vigorously to veto a similar bill, protecting women’s sports in her state, although she repeatedly insisted that her action did not amount to a veto due to a legislative technicality. In that case, the state legislature failed to override the governor’s veto.