Utah’s Republican governor pledges to veto transgender sports ban
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) vowed to veto an amended proposal that passed the state legislature on Friday prohibiting transgender girls from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity, The Associated Press reported.
“We care deeply about Utah’s female athletes and our LGBTQ+ community,” Cox said in a post on Facebook. “To those hurting tonight: It’s going to be OK. We’re going to help you get through this. Please reach out if you need help.”
The legislation prohibits “a student of the male sex from competing against another school on a team designated for female students” and defines “sex” as “biological, physical condition of being male or female, determined by an individual’s genetics and anatomy at birth.”
Similar pieces of legislation have been signed by Republican Govs. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and and Kim Reynolds of Iowa.
“This bill has been an important priority for a lot of the people behind me,” Noem said at a press conference last month, “and I appreciate all of their hard work in making sure that girls will always have the opportunity to play in girls sports in South Dakota and have an opportunity for a level playing field, for fairness, that gives them the chance to experience success.”
Critics of the legislation argue it unfairly targets transgender students.
Cathryn Oakley, Human Rights Campaign state legislative director and senior counsel, lauded Cox’s move to veto it.
“As the first governor this year pledging to veto anti-trans legislation sent to his desk for signature, Gov. Cox deserves praise for standing up to those who continue to target and attack transgender youth. Transgender kids are kids, and they do not deserve to be the targets of dehumanizing attacks that invalidate their identity,” Oakley said.
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