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Local LGBTQ Group Reacts To Florida's New Transgender Athlete Law

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - One local group is speaking out after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning transgender girls from participating in girls' and women's' public school sports.

The governor signed the bill on Tuesday, saying the new rules will even the playing field for girls in Florida, but one local organization disagrees.

PFLAG Tampa is an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people, allies, and family members. Trevor James, who works with the organization says "It's frustrating, it's angering. It's also very concerning at least on the realm of how it affects trans lives."

On the first day of Pride Month 2021, a bill banning transgender girls from participating in girls' and women's' public school sports became law in Florida. The new law says a student must show a birth certificate to determine they were female at the time of birth.

"It almost seems like a slap in the face," said James.

The law would not keep biologically female athletes from playing on boys or men's teams. Governor DeSantis defended the new law by referring to instances in other states across the country.

"You would have these blatantly unfair track races, and all these other things, where these girls trained and then they end up not being able to advance," said Governor DeSantis.

"It's physiologically different. Men are stronger, have bigger lung capacity, stronger muscles. It's common sense," said Florida senator, Kelli Stargel, at the press conference on Tuesday.

James says the law in Florida is unnecessary.

"We don't really have too many trans people playing sports and this s a non-issue but it's different not wanting sports, versus not being allowed to play sports because of who you are," said James.

He says the new law is discriminatory and could hurt a child's development.

"School is where these people are really finding themselves. You're getting into your own, you're going through puberty, you're going through a lot of changes and adding this on top of it, is really concerning honestly for the mental health effects," said James.

James says the organization is supporting a lawsuit being filed by the Human Rights Campaign against the state of Florida for a bill he believes is unacceptable.

"It's taking another thing away from trans youth yet again," said James.

The law applies to public secondary and high schools, colleges and universities and it scheduled to take effect July 1.

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