Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Members & Friends,
We urgently need you and your fellow Democrats to OPPOSE a hateful anti-transgender bill targeted against young female athletes--SB 2012 (Stargel) Promoting Equality of Athletic Opportunity. This bill is now moving in the Senate and will be heard in the Education Committee on Tuesday 03/23/21 at 12:30 pm. The House companion bill HB 1475 (Tuck) Sex-specific Student Athletic Teams or Sports already passed its first committee last week. This makes Florida one of 23 state legislatures pushing policies this year in an unprecedented nationwide assault on transgender youth. I have attached the current bill text for your review. There is no Senate Staff Analysis available, but I have also attached the House Staff Analysis.
Here are some background talking points:
The bill would require separate sex-specific sports teams in public K-12 schools and postsecondary public institutions based on biologic sex determination;
If there is a dispute about a student athlete's biologic sex, the athlete would have to submit verification from a healthcare provider to the school that confirms the student's female reproductive anatomy, genetic makeup, or testosterone levels.
Isn't it ironic that in this instance it doesn't seem to matter if the parents support their trans daughter? The "Parent's Bill of Rights" being pushed by the same Florida Senate apparently does not apply.
Fact: Adult trans women have been allowed to compete successfully at the NCAA level for over a decade under trans athlete guidelines that stipulate they must complete at least one year of testosterone suppressing medication to compete on women's teams, or they must compete on men's teams if they have not completed testosterone suppression. (https://www.transathlete.com/policies-college). There has been only one openly trans woman who has won a track title during this time.
Fact: For over a decade, Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) guidelines have allowed high-school students to participate -- without incident -- in gender-segregated athletic events consistent with their gender identity and irrespective of the gender listed on a birth certificate. The trans student athlete must meet minimum criteria and an eligibility review process. (https://13248aea-16f8-fc0a-cf26-a9339dd2a3f0.filesusr.com/ugd/2bc3fc_17131865a24d4817b9b1ebbbc7eec045.pdf). This new Florida law would preempt these established guidelines that have been working well.
Fact: Prior to puberty, boys do not have any physical advantages over girls because of their physiology. Gender segregation in children's sports is purely social. It is not based on any significant physiological differences; therefore, guidelines developed for adult trans athletes should not be applied to children. Why are we including innocent pre-pubertal children in this cruel legislation? Transgender children already experience significant bullying and marginalization. They should be protected and not further ostracized.
Fact: College athletes are demanding that the NCAA pull championships from states with anti-trans sports legislation (Nearly 550 College Athletes Demand NCAA Pull Championships From States With Anti-Trans Sports Legislation - Sports Illustrated). This does not bode well for the Governor's push to attract sports teams and tournaments to the state.
Fact: This month over 50 businesses signed the Business Statement Opposing Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation stating their clear opposition to harmful transphobic state laws. They emphasize that bigotry like the anti-trans bill being pushed in Florida impact their decisions whether to establish or grow their operations in the state (2021-Business-Statement-Opposing-Anti-LGBTQ-State-Legislation.pdf (hrc-prod-requests.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com) It is hard to grow the economy with laws like the one being promoted in the Florida Legislature.