The political party that regularly mouths off about the sacred personal freedoms that are an American birthright apparently doesn’t want to offer those same freedoms to transexual youths.
That’s the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the actions of Republicans in state legislatures across the country as they attempt to pass bills targeting the rights of non-gender-conforming individuals still below the legal age of consent in their jurisdictions.
The latest attempt garnering outrage among LGBTQ activists comes from Florida where the state House of Representatives passed a bill late yesterday that would ban transgender females from playing on girls’ and women’s high-school and college sports teams.
About a dozen transgender girls have managed to successfully play on female sports teams in Florida without major incident or controversy since legislation allowing them to do so was passed in 2013, but the GOP-controlled Florida house nevertheless took the first step to completely ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s teams in a largely party-line vote, 77-40, despite the bill’s sponsors admission that the inclusion of transgender girls in women’s sports programs hasn’t actually caused any problems.
“I don’t care how many times you tell yourself this is about women’s sports and not LGBTQ rights or discrimination, because that is wrong,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani, (D-Orlando).“The bill, and unfortunately as a consequence, transgender children, have been weaponized and turned into political pawns. Not just by the Republican Party of Florida, but by 25 Republican state legislatures across the country,” Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) told a news conference yesterday hosted by the advocacy group Equality Florida.
“This week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors said it would consider pulling championships from states that ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s and girls’ sports. On the same night, the sponsor of the Senate version, Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, postponed the committee discussion on the bill. It was originally scheduled for discussion on Wednesday.”
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.