Florida State Rep. Kristen Aston Arrington (D-FL-43) filed a companion bill to Florida Sen. Gary Farmer’s (D-FL-34) SB 212 to repeal a transgender athlete ban from last legislative session.

Last legislative session, Florida Republicans passed a transgender athlete ban which banned transgender women from competing in women’s sports in high school and college, and athletic participation is determined by sex assigned on a birth certificate. The ban, which many in the Florida Capitol thought was dead, was resurrected by Florida Rep. Kaylee Tuck (R-FL-55).

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill in the face of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) threatening to pull competitions and championships out of Florida.

“In Florida, we’re going to do what’s right and we won’t be cowed by pressure from woke corporations,” DeSantis said on Twitter. “They will not dictate the policies in Florida – not now, not ever. Florida will stand strong and protect women’s sports and opportunities.”

DeSantis reiterated that he is willing to take the risk.

“We won’t be cowed, we will stand strong,” DeSantis said. “I will choose to protect our young girls every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

Florida Democrats are pointing out that Florida might take an economic hit from corporations, celebrities, and large events pulling out of Florida over the policy.

Arrington said that “big business didn’t weigh in. My hope is that if we bring some attention to the ban, more companies will speak up and people will realize why this is a bad idea.”

Recently, numerous artists pulled a concert out of North Carolina over its own transgender bathroom policy. Some say North Carolina lost as much as $3.76 billion in economic losses.

Similarly, Major League Baseball pulled its annual All-Star Game out of Atlanta over Georgia’s election integrity law. Critics characterized the law as “voter suppression” and “restrictive” voter laws.

DeSantis said the transgender athlete ban is nothing more than ensuring women’s sports are fair, especially after three Connecticut athletes sued the state over allowing transgender girls to compete in women’s track and field events.

“It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness in women’s sports,” DeSantis said.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Kristen Arrington” by Kristen Arrington and photo “Gary Farmer” by Internet.User CC BY-SA 4.0.