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Florida Passes Bill Requiring Some Girls To Undergo Genital Inspections To Play Sports

by : Saman Javed on : 16 Apr 2021 17:44
Florida Passes Bill Forcing Some Girls To Undergo Genital Inspections To Play SportsPA Images/Pexels

Florida’s Republican-controlled House has passed a bill that, if signed into law, could require girls to undergo genital inspections to participate in sports.

The bill, HB 1475, will also ban transgender athletes from competing in women and girls’ sports. Florida joins a growing list of US states who are either considering a similar law or have already passed one into place.

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Following an hour of debate, the bill was passed in a 77 to 40 vote, with just one Democratic house member voting in favour of the proposed law.

The bill states that if a female student athlete’s sex is disputed, they could be required to undergo a ‘health examination and consent form or another statement from the student’s health care provider to verify the student’s biological sex’.

‘The health care provider may verify the student’s biological sex as part of a routine sports physical examination by relying only on one or more of the following: 1. The student’s reproductive anatomy; 2. The student’s genetic makeup; or 3. The student’s normal endogenously produced testosterone levels,’ the bill states.

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Ahead of the vote in Florida on April 14, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said it will consider pulling championships from states that ban transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports.

‘When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected,’ the statement said.

‘We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants,’ it added.

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Speaking before the vote, Republicans argued that the bill will protect fairness in sports.

‘There is an inherent, biological, undeniable difference between men and women, boys and girls. Simply put: we were designed differently,’ Representative Traci Koster said, as Politico reports.

Democrats in Florida, and other states, have pushed back on this view, arguing that these bills attack the rights of trans people.

Representative Anna Eskamani told the House: ‘Sports have become another avenue to attack the rights of trans people. And those efforts have caused incredible harm to trans youth, who, like all kids, especially in the middle of a pandemic, deserve compassion and support.’

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According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 82 anti-transgender laws have been introduced across the US so far this year.

The American Civil Liberties Union said described the bills as a threat to trans existence.

‘There have been many existential threats to trans existence, but there’s something uniquely dangerous about what’s going on right at this moment with the combination of the sports bills and the health care bills. I think the impulse underlying both is to try to establish governmental policy that it’s harmful to be trans,’ Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU told CNN last month.

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The HRC is now urging Florida’s legislature not to sign HB 1475 into law.

‘The Florida House has passed a bill that would ban trans kids from playing sports and authorize invasive, traumatizing medical checks on any kids whose gender is questioned. This hateful, dehumanising bill must be stopped in the Senate. Call your legislators, Florida,’ the group said in a tweet.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8.00pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.

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Topics: News, Florida, Now, Sports

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  1. Politico

    Florida House passes contentious transgender sports ban