Andrew Atterbury, Politico:
The GOP-controlled Florida House on Wednesday passed controversial legislation banning transgender athletes from playing girls’ sports, shifting attention to the state Senate where final approval is needed to send the bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
House and Senate Republicans in Florida have seized on women’s sports as a priority in 2021, following the path of more than 20 other GOP-leaning states that are using the issue to limit transgender rights. LGBTQ advocacy groups like Equality Florida are aligned with the majority of Democrats in opposing the legislation, arguing it would lead to increased stigma and misinformation surrounding transgender students.
Democrats pushed back against that rhetoric, insisting the legislation is aimed at LGBTQ rights and not girls’ athletics.
This is a bad situation, and I don’t see a clear path for either side to “win”. Personally, I don’t think transgender athletes should be allowed to participate in sports with the opposite sex – unless the context is specifically co-ed. The reason for this is simple – men versus women sports are clearly determined by biological sex, not gender. A man who transitions into a woman is not a biological woman, and biological women are at a physical disadvantage to biological men when it comes to sports.
We have to draw the line somewhere. Banning transgender athletes from playing girls' sports is not a hate crime against transgender people. It’s a reasonable measure to preserve fairness in sports. If I wake up one day and decide to identify as disabled, it would be unfair for me to participate in a sports league for disabled people. Similarly, if I wake up one day and decide to identify as female, it would again be unfair for me to play women sports.
Unfortunately, America has progressed to the point where determinations based on objective biology (men versus women sports) are being called out as transphobic. I’m not sure where we go from here. In the current political environment, the people who respect biology as a determining factor to create a level playing field will be cancelled, while the people who are pushing for unrestricted transgender participation in sports – a flawed idea by design – will be amplified and praised. What a world we live in.