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13-year-old transgender soccer player suing Gov. DeSantis

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is being sued by a 13-year-old transgender soccer player named Daisy after he signed a law banning transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports.

The law prevents transgender athletes from competing in girls’ high school sports in the state. The suit protesting that law was filed on Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of Daisy, who is transgender, and argues that the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which was signed on June 1 by DeSantis, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Title IX, the federal policy outlawing sex discrimination in education.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David reportedly said that the lawsuit is a message to DeSantis and others. “Given the unprecedented onslaught of state legislative attacks, we have a responsibility to utilize every tool in our belt to safeguard the LGBTQ community, including suing the states that infringe upon our civil rights,” declared David. “On the first day of Pride Month, a moment of celebration, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill into law attacking transgender children—now, on the last day of Pride, we are sending a message to him, and all anti-equality officials, that you cannot target our community without retribution.”

“Kids just want to play sports, and are confused about why their state’s leaders, who are elected to represent them, are so determined to hurt them,” David asserted in a statement according to the Washington Times. “There is no way to be more clear: transgender children are children; transgender girls are girls; transgender boys are boys; and our community deserves respect, dignity, and equal protection under the law.”

(Video Credit: WPLG Local 10)

The bill signed by DeSantis mandates that anyone who is participating in girls’ athletics in public schools has to have an original birth certificate that states they are female.

Daisy has played girls’ soccer since she was 7-years-old. She is upset that she can no longer do so. The transgender teen also planned to try out for the volleyball team which she can no longer do.

The suit states that school sports have taught her not only leadership skills but have also given her a support network. “Depriving her of these opportunities will have a long-term impact on her future. It also will create a sense of shame and diminish her positive sense of self, which can have lifelong consequences,” the filing posited.

Daisy’s identity is not being disclosed to protect her privacy. She reportedly began hormone therapy when she was just 11-years-old and started receiving estrogen treatments this year. The suit is claiming that since she is getting estrogen treatments she no longer has a competitive advantage over biological girls.

“If (Daisy) does not have the option to play girls’ sports in high school and college, she will not be able to play sports at all and will lose the benefits of being part of the team network that has supported her emotionally and psychologically,” the filing asserts. The law “also sends a message to (Daisy’s) current and future teammates that there is something wrong with her,” the suit concludes.

Supporters of Senate Bill 1028 claim it is needed to preserve fairness and safety in girls’ and women’s sports. Florida is one of eight states enacting such legislation and they are being fought tooth and nail by activist groups over it.

DeSantis has stated that “in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”

“As a father of two daughters, I want my girls, and every girl in Florida, to compete on an even playing field for the opportunities available to young women in sports,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Women have fought for decades to have equal opportunities in athletics, and we have to prevent those opportunities from being eroded as is happening in other states. It’s common sense.”

“This issue is an issue of fundamental fairness. Recognizing gender differences is a far cry from discrimination,” state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran proclaimed in a statement. “This is especially true in education where major college athletics — and the scholarships that go with it — still delineate by gender. No one believes it would be fair for LeBron James to play in the WNBA.”

Many on social media supported DeSantis on his stance:

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