Last week, the Florida state House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban biological males from participating in women’s sports.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act was headed next for the state senate were, if passed, it would go on to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk to be signed into law.
The legislation would mandates that teams at pre-K and higher education institutions meant for female athletes be restricted to biological women and girls.
All but one Democrat in the chamber voted against the bill, which is being called “legalized bullying” by progressive critics.
On Tuesday, Politico reported that the Republican-controlled Senate, however, appeared to signal the bill may not find success in the upper chamber after all.
“A top Senate panel on Tuesday put off considering the ban, a move that signals the upper chamber is reluctant to move forward with the bill. The proposal’s sponsor, powerful Senate budget chief Kelli Stargel, said her attention will be on finishing the state budget with less than two weeks left in session,” Politico reported.
“Right now, my primary focus as Appropriations Chair is our constitutional responsibility to pass a balanced budget,” Stargel, a Lakeland Republican, told the outlet in a statement. “And in a time-limited environment, I don’t know that we will have sufficient time to revisit SB 2012 this session.”
Opponents say the bill and others of its kind discriminate against transgender athletes who wish to play on teams that correspond with their gender identity, while proponents say that the fundamental biological differences between males and females would leave women and girls at a disadvantage as well as potentially violate privacy.
“There is an inherent, biological, undeniable difference between men and women, boys and girls,” said Republican state Representative Traci Koster (Tampa) when the bill was before the House. “Simply put: we were designed differently.”
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