Hundreds showed up Tuesday to show their support for Florida transgender youth holding rallies across the state to voice their opposition to a new law that bans transgender girls and women from playing on sports teams in Florida.
Equality Florida organizers held “Protect Trans Youth” rallies on the first day of Pride Month and also on the heels of Gov. Ron DeSantis signing an education bill into law that includes the “The Fairness In Women’s Sports Act,” a ban on transgender girls and young women playing on school sports teams.
“DeSantis signed the Transgender Youth Sports Ban into law. Today our community will protest against this cruel and discriminatory bill,” Equality Florida wrote on the Orlando event invite.
SB 1028 sought to make female athletes’ eligibility for sports teams contingent on their “biological sex” on birth certificates issued “at or near the time of the student’s birth.” DeSantis reiterated the bill would provide and ensure fair competition for girls and women throughout the state of Florida.
Critics of the transgender athlete bill were quick to react. The bill happened to take place on the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) released a statement.
“Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law the state’s first anti-LGBTQ bill in 23 years. This bigoted, transphobic piece of legislation targets one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our state: transgender youth. It excludes transgender people from public life, including participation in sports,” her statement read in part. “It’s shameful that our Governor and Florida’s Republican Party would attack a group of people who already experience constant discrimination, bullying, and high rates of suicide.”
About 100 people brought signs and banners at the event in front of Orlando city hall.
In Brevard County, a similar event was organized by Laura Cobb, of Equality Florida and attended by about 35 people. Attendees carried flags and signs in support outside the Brevard County government building.