Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Declares Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas’ Victory a Fraud

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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis jumped into the conversation about a transgender swimmer who won a collegiate title by declaring the runner-up as the real winner.

DeSantis signed a proclamation on Tuesday declaring Florida-born Emma Weyant as the winner of the women’s 500-yard (457-meter) freestyle at the NCAA women’s tournament, rather than transgender athlete Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania senior.

DeSantis, whose proclamation has no effect on the tournament outcome, is using the document in fundraising messages for his re-election campaign.

“By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud,” DeSantis said on Twitter.

His proclamation comes nearly a year after he signed a bill that requires anyone participating in girls’ athletics to have an original birth certificate stating they are female.

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