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Louisiana governor vetoes transgender sports bill: ‘A solution in search of a problem’

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed legislation on Tuesday prohibiting transgender girls and women from participating in sports that align with their gender identity.

The state legislature passed Senate Bill 156 late last month, which would have required intercollegiate, interscholastic or intramural athletic teams to allow categorize athletes based on “biological sex.” 

“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement on Twitter.

“Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue,” he continued.

The bill passed with a margin wide enough to potentially override Edward’s veto. However, according to The Advocate, the Louisiana legislature has never called itself back for a special veto override session. 

Edwards said that the measure would “make life more difficult for transgender children,” who are more vulnerable when it comes to mental health issues.

“While there is no issue to be solved by this bill, it does present real problems in that it makes it more likely that NCAA and professional championships, like the 2022 Final Four, would not happen in our state,” he said. “For these and for other reasons, I have vetoed the bill.”

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, applauded the veto in a statement.

“SB 156 was nothing more than a politically motivated bill that seeks to dehumanize transgender children,” David said. “By vetoing this bill, Gov. Bel Edwards reminded legislators that any attempts to discriminate against transgender children is intolerable and will be defeated.”

Louisiana was one of 30 states to consider legislation restricting transgender athletes, according to HRC.

Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia have enacted such bills. Meanwhile, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) vetoed similar legislation before issuing executive orders taking similar effect.

Tags anti-transgender legislation John Bel Edwards Kristi Noem Louisiana State legislature transgender athletes

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