Florida Senate - 2021 SB 2012 By Senator Stargel 22-01360A-21 20212012__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to promoting equality of athletic 3 opportunity; creating s. 1006.205, F.S.; providing a 4 short title; providing legislative intent and 5 findings; requiring that certain athletic teams or 6 sports sponsored by certain educational institutions 7 be designated on the basis of students’ biological 8 sex; prohibiting athletic teams or sports designated 9 for female students from being open to male students; 10 specifying conditions under which persons who 11 transition from male to female are eligible to compete 12 in the female category; requiring a student that fails 13 to comply with certain conditions to be suspended from 14 female competition for 12 months; requiring the Board 15 of Governors of the State University System to adopt 16 regulations and the State Board of Education to adopt 17 rules regarding the resolution of disputes; providing 18 protections for educational institutions from certain 19 adverse actions taken by a governmental entity, any 20 licensing or accrediting organization, or any athletic 21 association or organization; providing civil remedies 22 for students and educational institutions; providing a 23 statute of limitation; providing for damages; 24 providing an effective date. 25 26 WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court recognized in 27 United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), that there are 28 inherent differences between men and women and these differences 29 remain cause for celebration, but not for denigration of the 30 members of either sex for artificial constraints on an 31 individual’s opportunity, and 32 WHEREAS, the Supreme Court recognized that sex 33 classifications may be used to compensate women for particular 34 economic disabilities they have suffered, to promote equal 35 employment opportunity, and to advance full development of the 36 talent and capacities of our nation’s people, and 37 WHEREAS, one area where sex classifications allow for the 38 full development of the talent and capacities of our nation’s 39 people is in the context of sports and athletics, and 40 WHEREAS, the Olympic Games are considered the world’s 41 foremost sporting competitions in which thousands of male and 42 female athletes from more than 200 nations participate, and 43 WHEREAS, the biological differences between females and 44 males, especially as it relates to natural levels of 45 testosterone, explain the male and female secondary sex 46 characteristics, including physical strength, speed, and 47 endurance, and 48 WHEREAS, after consulting with hundreds of athletes, 49 doctors, and human rights experts, in November 2015, the 50 International Olympic Committee issued guidelines specifying 51 that an athlete who has transitioned from male to female is 52 eligible to compete if she demonstrates that her total 53 testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at 54 least 12 months before her first competition, with the 55 requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential 56 case-by-case evaluation considering whether 12 months is a 57 sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women’s 58 competition, and 59 WHEREAS, the athlete’s total testosterone level in serum 60 must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired 61 eligibility to compete in the female category, and 62 WHEREAS, these guidelines remain in effect and have 63 successfully led to parity between athletes who have 64 transitioned from male to female and cisgender female athletes, 65 and 66 WHEREAS, the use of cross-sex hormone therapy is increasing 67 nationwide and in this state, and 68 WHEREAS, the number of transgender athletes is also 69 increasing in this state, and 70 WHEREAS, athletes who have transitioned from male to female 71 generally have higher levels of testosterone and may excel in 72 physical strength, speed, and endurance in comparison to 73 cisgender females, and 74 WHEREAS, the increase in athletes who have transitioned 75 from male to female has and will continue to displace cisgender 76 female athletes in this state and prevent them from excelling in 77 athletic competitions, and 78 WHEREAS, transgender athletes should compete against 79 athletes with similar abilities, and 80 WHEREAS, this act, which requires the designation of 81 separate sex-specific athletic teams, is necessary to redress 82 past discrimination against female athletes and to avoid 83 jeopardizing the equality of athletic opportunity in this state, 84 NOW, THEREFORE, 85 86 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 87 88 Section 1. Section 1006.205, Florida Statutes, is created 89 to read: 90 1006.205 Promoting Equality of Athletic Opportunity Act.— 91 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the 92 “Promoting Equality of Athletic Opportunity Act.” 93 (2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT AND FINDINGS.— 94 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide 95 opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, 96 skills, and athletic abilities and to provide them with 97 opportunities to obtain recognition and accolades, college 98 scholarships, and the numerous other long-term benefits that 99 result from participating and competing in athletic endeavors. 100 (b) The Legislature finds that promoting the equality of 101 athletic opportunity is an important state interest. The 102 Legislature finds that requiring the designation of separate 103 sex-specific athletic teams or sports is necessary to promote 104 equality of athletic opportunity. 105 (3) DESIGNATION OF ATHLETIC TEAMS OR SPORTS.— 106 (a) Interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club 107 athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by a public primary 108 or secondary school, a public postsecondary institution, or any 109 school or institution whose students or teams compete against a 110 public school or public postsecondary institution must be 111 expressly designated as one of the following based on the 112 biological sex of team members: 113 1. Males, men, or boys; 114 2. Females, women, or girls; or 115 3. Coed or mixed, including both males and females. 116 (b) Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, 117 or girls may not be open to students of the male sex. 118 (c) Persons who transition from male to female are eligible 119 to compete in the female category if all of the following 120 conditions are met: 121 1. The student has declared a female gender identity to her 122 school or institution. 123 2. The student demonstrates that her total testosterone 124 level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months 125 before her first competition and monthly throughout the period 126 of desired eligibility to compete in the female category. 127 3. The student’s total testosterone level in serum must 128 remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired 129 eligibility to compete in the female category. 130 131 A student that fails to comply with the requirements of 132 subparagraphs 2. or 3. must be suspended from female competition 133 for 12 months. 134 (d) The Board of Governors of the State University System 135 shall adopt regulations, and the State Board of Education shall 136 adopt rules, regarding the receipt and timely resolution of 137 disputes by schools and institutions, consistent with this 138 subsection. 139 (4) PROTECTION FOR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.—A governmental 140 entity, licensing or accrediting organization, or an athletic 141 association or organization may not entertain a complaint, open 142 an investigation, or take any other adverse action against any 143 school or public postsecondary institution in this state for 144 maintaining separate interscholastic, intercollegiate, 145 intramural, or club athletic teams or sports for students of the 146 female sex. 147 (5) CAUSE OF ACTION; CIVIL REMEDIES.— 148 (a) Any student who is deprived of an athletic opportunity 149 or suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a 150 violation of this section has a private cause of action for 151 injunctive relief, damages, and any other relief available under 152 law against the school or public postsecondary institution. 153 (b) Any student who is subject to retaliation or other 154 adverse action by a school, a public postsecondary institution, 155 or an athletic association or organization as a result of 156 reporting a violation of this section to an employee or a 157 representative of the school, institution, or athletic 158 association or organization, or to any state or federal agency 159 with oversight of schools or public postsecondary institutions 160 in this state, has a private cause of action for injunctive 161 relief, damages, and any other relief available under law 162 against the school, institution, or athletic association or 163 organization. 164 (c) Any public school or public postsecondary institution 165 that suffers any direct or indirect harm as a result of a 166 violation of this section shall have a private cause of action 167 for injunctive relief, damages, and any other relief available 168 under law against the governmental entity, licensing or 169 accrediting organization, or athletic association or 170 organization. 171 (d) A civil action brought under this section must be 172 initiated within 2 years after the alleged harm occurred. 173 Persons or organizations who prevail on a claim brought under 174 this section are entitled to monetary damages, including for any 175 psychological, emotional, or physical harm suffered, reasonable 176 attorney fees and costs, and any other appropriate relief. 177 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.