Florida has become the latest US state this year to ban transgender girls and women from participating in women’s sports in public schools.
State Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill on Tuesday to put it into law.
The law stipulates that women and girls must play in the “biological gender” team listed on the birth certificate.
LGBT activists have accused the move of being “discriminatory,” and one group has vowed to file a legal challenge.
DeSantis signed the bill on the first day of Pride Month, the annual celebration of the LGBT community in June.
When signing the law at a Christian school in Jacksonville, the governor said, “We believe it is very important that these conventions are consistent.
“When you play sports, let’s go based on biology, not ideology.”
The move happens when Republican-led states oppose LGBT advocacy policies backed by the Democratic Joe Biden administration.
What does the law say?
Florida law defines an athlete’s gender as stated in official birth documents.
A law called the Law on Fairness in Women’s Sports stipulates that sports teams for girls and women must not open their doors to male students.
It is not clear whether all female athletes need to present a birth certificate in order to belong to a sports team.
The law also allows students to take legal action against the school if the school violates the law and feels “deprived” of “exercise opportunities.”
Proponents of the bill said that transgender female athletes had an unfair advantage and were designated as male at birth, but have since transitioned.
But critics say the ban on transgender girls and women’s sports is unnecessary and discriminatory.
The law, which comes into force on July 1, applies to public secondary schools, high schools, junior colleges and universities.
What kind of reaction did you receive?
Florida representative Carlos Smith, a Democrat who claims to be Latino and gay, accused the bill of being “horrifying” and disagreed.
“This fuels transphobia and puts vulnerable children at risk for no good reason,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which defends LGBT rights, said it would challenge the measure in court.
“Government and Florida lawmakers are enacting legislation on false, discriminatory assumptions that endanger the safety and well-being of transgender children,” said group representative Alfonso David. Was.
“Transgender kids are kids. Transgender girls are girls. Like all kids, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with friends and be part of a team.”
The move in Florida is due to the fact that measures for equality are gaining momentum at the national level.
On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The US House of Representatives has passed an equality law in an attempt to make Mr Biden’s executive order more permanent. This is considered to be the most LGBT-supporting bill in US history.
On Tuesday, Mr Biden issued a declaration commemorating the start of Pride Month, calling on parliamentarians to pass the Equality Act.
But without Republican support, the Senate is unlikely to pass the bill.