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National Black Justice Coalition Checks Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for Signing Anti-Trans Bill On First Day of Pride Month

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro |

FLORIDA — Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida marked the beginning of Pride month by signing the Transgender Youth Sports Ban into law. The bill bans transgender women and girls from playing on public school sports teams intended for student-athletes who are women or girls. 

In response, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), issued the following statement:

“Governor Ron DeSantis’ flagrant disrespect of the LGBTQ+ community during pride month, specifically his disdain for young trans girls and women, is shocking but no surprise. 

“For years, Republicans like Ron DeSantis have waged a needless, bigoted culture war against trans people in an attempt to politicize their basic human rights. Manipulating the law to target trans school children and teens, in particular, is an egregious act of animus. We are grateful that our partner, the Human Rights Campaign, is challenging the constitutionality of this bill in court.

“Even so, the devastating reality is that Black trans women are bearing the brunt of the anti-trans laws sweeping state legislatures throughout the nation. Thus far in 2021, Black trans women are being murdered at a drastically higher rate than any other year on record. Let that sink in. It’s no coincidence that a massive number of Republican-backed anti-trans bills have either become law or are currently in consideration. 

“Governor DeSantis signed this hateful and transphobic bill less than two weeks before the 5 year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, where 49 people were shot and killed in cold blood. His tone-deaf disregard for our community is a disgrace.

“As Equality Florida and other organizations across the state protest this bill, we are reminded that Gov. DeSantis also signed an anti-protest bill that will create more loopholes for law enforcement to commit acts of violence against Black people and others for exercising the first amendment right to assemble. 

“As we celebrate pride month, we must continue to speak out against right-wing extremists like Governor DeSantis.  We are committed to holding anyone who actively works to oppress the LGBTQ+ population to account. We refuse to shrink or hide and will continue to fight for these fundamental rights.”

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.