Former tennis star and trans critic Martina Navratilova has hit out at Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ law which enables doctors to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.
The sportswoman, who has consistently hit out at trans athletes and their allies, expressed outrage over a bill signed by presidential candidate DeSantis in May that gives healthcare professionals the right to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people by citing religious or moral objections.
The ‘Protections of Medical Conscience’ bill medical professionals and for-profit insurers to deny patients care based on religious, moral or ethical reasons or beliefs, with DeSantis claiming it safeguards “freedom of speech for physicians”.
Critics, however, have labelled the ‘Let Them Die Act’.
On Thursday (16 November) she took to X, formerly Twitter, where she wrote about the law: “Wow…how is this ever ok? Has all the hallmarks of the old Amendment 2 in Colorado in the 90’s which was struck down by POTUS. This ridiculous law by @GovRonDeSantis needs to be challenged because it can’t stand.”
Navratilova’s mention of Amendment 2 refers to a ballot measure approved by Colorado voters in 1992, which banned anti-discrimination laws for gay, lesbian, or bisexual people.
The controversial law was eventually ruled unconstitutional and overturned by the Supreme Court in 1996.
Navratilova is an avid critic of the Republican party and its policies, often taking to social media to lambast GOP politicians.
In the responses to her latest post pushing back against DeSantis, some pointed out her involvement with gender critical activism and calling for trans exclusion in sport “emboldens” conservative lawmakers in implementing such anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
The tennis star has previously signed a letter supporting the exclusion of trans girls from girls’ sports, called for president Joe Biden to “carve out” out special rules to strictly control trans inclusion in elite sport and told Daniel Radcliffe to “be quiet” on trans issues.
Campaigners have long warned anti-trans rhetoric will not stop with trans people and will result in further legislation impacting other parts of the community, such as discrimination protections for LGB people, same-sex marriage and housing rights.
Controversially, in October, one social media user appeared to state exactly what activists feared by saying her children will not take part in sports because it is a “breeding ground for aggressive lesbians”.