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NCAA Pressures Florida Over Transgender Inclusion

Paul Steinbach

The NCAA is ratcheting up pressure on universities scheduled to host championship events, requiring them to reaffirm their commitment to nondiscrimination, including against transgender athletes.

As reported by WJXT in Jacksonville, the NCAA is requiring future championship hosts to commit to its nondiscrimination policy, which allows transgender women to compete in women’s sports under certain circumstances. However, a new Florida law — dubbed The Fairness in Women's Sports Act — specifies that “an athletic team or sport that is designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex, based on the student’s biological sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth.”

“If they want the University of Florida or Florida State or our other schools to leave the NCAA, that may be up to them,” said State Rep. Randy Fine, a supporter of the legislation, despite estimates that claim it could cost Florida 50 events and $75 million in economic activity.

“They’re a bunch of clowns and they will fold and we’re not worried about it," Fine said of NCAA leaders. "Look, we’re going to stand for women.

“Men should not be able to play women’s sports. Period.”

Jon Harris Maurer, of the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida, calls the law perilous.

“This legislation has put in peril some of those important championships and sporting events, but really more than anything, it’s putting in peril our young people’s opportunities to play on teams and learn critical lessons that come from sports,” Maurer said.

The state has until Aug. 23 to respond to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 13-year-old transgender teen that challenges The Fairness in Women's Sports Act. The lawsuit claims the law violates Title IX and the 14th Amendment, which states, in part, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

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