Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he would sign legislation that would ban transgender procedures for minors, coming days after he signed a bill that prohibits biologically male athletes from competing in women’s sports.
“I’m very much opposed to chemical castration of minors, I honestly didn’t know this existed until a few years ago,” DeSantis said in an interview with the Daily Caller. “That would be something I would sign for sure,” he said.
Earlier in 2021, Republicans introduced the Youth Gender and Sexual Identity Act that would ban transgender surgeries for minors. The bill died during a subcommittee meeting on April 30.
On June 1, the Republican governor signed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which handed down a ban on transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports, saying it would be unfair to women as men have significantly more physical advantages.
“Girls are going to play girls’ sports, and boys are going to play boys’ sports,” he said last week, adding: “We believe in the state of Florida protecting the fairness and integrity of women’s athletics.”
Florida Democrats and progressive groups assailed DeSantis and the GOP over the bill, arguing that it is discriminatory.
“Gov. DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are legislating based on a false, discriminatory premise that puts the safety and well-being of transgender children on the line,” Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David said in a statement after the bill was signed.
But Republicans, including the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Kelli Stargen, said the measure is not meant to discriminate—but it’s about fairness.
“This is not about that. This is about sports and having competitive advantage and having the ability to compete,” Stargen remarked. “Men are stronger, they have bigger lung capacity, stronger muscles,” she said during last week’s signing event.
Also in the Daily Caller interview, DeSantis noted that corporations have railed against the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which encouraged him to sign the measure.
Caving to pressure from corporations who have increasingly espoused left-wing talking points would be handing “over the reigns of government to them” and allowing them to “set the policy,” the governor said. And he added: “That ain’t happening in Florida.”
This year, the Arkansas Legislature voted to pass bills that would block transgender procedures for children. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, vetoed the bill but the Republican-controlled state House and Senate overruled his veto.
A similar bill was passed in the Alabama state Senate but ultimately died after the state’s legislative session ended in May.