The Senate Rules Committee has temporarily postponed plans to hear a bill that would essentially ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s high school and collegiate sports, Senate spokeswoman Katie Betta announced Monday.
In a tweet, Betta said the postponement is for “planning purposes” amid a “busy rules agenda on Wednesday.” But the announcement, notably, comes hours after the NCAA fired a warning shot at states proposing such legislation.
“When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected,” the NCAA Board of Governors wrote in a press release. “We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants.”
The shot-across-the-bow comes a day before the Florida House will take up legislation (HB 1475) that would bar transgender women from competing in high school or collegiate sports. Republican Rep. Kaylee Tuck of Lake Placid is the bill sponsor.
The Senate companion (SB 2012), meanwhile, was slated to appear before its final committee, Senate Rules.
The two proposals boast distinct differences.
Under Tuck’s proposal, The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, transgender student-athletes would be required to compete on teams aligned with their biological sex.
Specifically, the bill prohibits transgender women from competing on female teams but does not bar transgender men from competing on a male team.
However, the Senate bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel, would allow transgender women to compete if they declare their gender as female and maintain low testosterone levels.
Roughly 25 other Republican-led states are sponsoring similar legislation, according to a staff analysis.
In early April, more than 500 student-athletes wrote to NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors, calling on the organization to deny championship events to states that institute prohibitive transgender policies.