Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis proclaimed that he would be willing to sign legislation banning minors from getting trans surgeries.
In an interview with the Daily Caller, DeSantis was asked if he supports a ban on youths getting gender reassignment surgery.
“I’m very much opposed to chemical castration of minors, I honestly didn’t know this existed until a few years ago,” the Republican governor of Florida responded. “That would be something I would sign for sure.”
In February, Florida lawmakers introduced the Youth Gender and Sexual Identity Act, which proposed criminal penalties for health care practitioners who provide gender reassignment surgical procedures and medical treatments to children. The House bill died in a Professions & Public Health Subcommittee on April 30.
On June 1, DeSantis signed SB 1028 into law, creating the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which bans transgender women and girls from competing in women’s sports in an effort to preserve “fair opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and abilities in athletic competition.”
“The bill that we’re doing today will ensure fairness for women athletes for years to come in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said at the time of signing the bill into law. “It says that athletic teams or sports that are designated for females are open to females. And we’re going to go based off biology.”
“It’s discrimination against our women athletes to force them to participate against male athletes,” DeSantis said. “It needs to be a level playing field, and it needs to be fair, and it should all be based on biology, not based on ideology.”
“Well, look, it’s discrimination against our women athletes to force them to participate against male athletes,” he said this week. “Selina (Soule) from Connecticut came in; she missed New England regionals for track by two places, and both of the people who beat her were biological males. And so if she had had a level playing field, she would have not only advanced to regionals, she would have won that track meet.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal discrimination complaint with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in 2019 on behalf of three female high school athletes, including Soule, who lost sports competitions to biological males.
DeSantis signed the bill despite threats from “woke” organizations such as the NCAA.
“I remember the NCAA put out a statement saying any state that enacts this, we’re not going to hold events there,” DeSantis recalled. “So I called the speaker of the House in Florida and I said, ‘Did you hear what they said?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘We definitely got to get this done.’ You can’t be cowed by these organizations, or particularly by woke corporations, from doing the right thing.”
“We have to protect our girls. It is discriminatory to force them to compete against biological males,” he continued. “If the price of having a tournament is that I have to deny equal opportunity to hundreds of thousands of young girl and women athletes throughout Florida, I am much more willing to stand with the girls. And to hell with these events.”
“If corporations want to come in and try to bully us around, they are going to go nowhere. It’s going to be like hitting their head against a brick wall,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis also blasted fellow Republican governors who are reluctant to sign similar legislation.
“I think it’s just corporate pressure; I think the corporations have gotten very woke; they tend to genuflect before whatever the most recent left-wing cause is,” DeSantis told the Daily Caller on Tuesday. “They just don’t like getting the blowback; they don’t want to be the subject of a social media mob or things like that.”
“And so I think that they have taken that posture, but you can’t let them — like some woke corporation, you’re going to turn over the reins of government to them and let them set the policy? That ain’t happening in Florida, and so we’re not gonna be deterred by that,” DeSantis declared.