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US Louisiana governor vetoes transgender sports ban proposal

02:05  23 june  2021
02:05  23 june  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Lawmakers in Louisiana sent a bill that would prohibit transgender girls and women in the state from competing on girls' and womens' public elementary, secondary and college sports teams to the state's Democratic governor on Thursday, who will likely issue a veto of the measure, which he previously called "unnecessary and discriminatory.".

"The governor did the right thing for Louisiana and transgender Louisianans by vetoing this cruel and discriminatory legislation," said the group in a tweet. The bill passed in the legislature with such margins that the legislators could overturn the governor 's veto . Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell of Franklinton, who sponsored the legislation, said that she hoped her colleagues would convene in a veto override session to pass the bill despite the governor 's denial. Such override sessions are exceedingly rare in Louisiana 's history. Here's more about the transgender bill in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday struck down a bill prohibiting transgender athletes from competing on girls’ sports teams in Louisiana schools, pushing back against legislation that has passed several Southern states.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 file photo, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks in Baton Rouge, La. Edwards on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 struck down a bill prohibiting transgender athletes from competing on girls’ sports teams in Louisiana schools, pushing back against legislation that has passed several Southern states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File): Transgender Restrictions-Louisiana © Provided by Associated Press Transgender Restrictions-Louisiana

The veto from the Deep South's only Democratic governor was expected, since Edwards called the measure discriminatory.

“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,” the governor said in a statement. “Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn't a single case where this was an issue” in Louisiana.

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The Louisiana House overwhelmingly gave final passage Thursday to legislation prohibiting transgender athletes from competing on girls’ sports teams in schools, sending the measure to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is expected to veto the bill. The proposal by Franklinton Sen. Beth Mizell, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, passed both the House and Senate with veto -proof margins, a 29-6 vote in the Senate and a 78-17 bipartisan vote in the House on Thursday.

Louisiana lawmakers send anti- trans sports ban to governor , who is likely to issue a veto . For this reason, the language of "biological sex," as used in this legislation, can be overly simplistic and misleading. "By folding the transgender ban into the charter school legislation, Republicans in Tallahassee rejected both science and reason, openly attacking vulnerable LGBTQ+ children without a single shred of evidence that a problem even exists," they said, adding: "Not once has there been an incident or complaint in our state alleging that a transgender athlete's participation unfairly impacted

Backers of the measure said they were trying to protect female athletes from unfair competition and preserve equality for women’s sports across K-12 schools and colleges. The proposal by Franklinton Sen. Beth Mizell, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, passed with bipartisan veto-proof margins: a 29-6 vote in the Senate and a 78-19 vote in the House.

Still, it's unclear if enough lawmakers would hold together to call for a special veto session to try to override the governor's rejection. The regular legislative session is over, and Louisiana has never held a veto override session under the current constitution adopted in 1974.

Mizell didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday about the veto and whether she'd seek an override effort.

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  Feds: West Virginia transgender athlete ban violates law CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has slammed a new West Virginia law that bans transgender athletes from competing in female sports, asserting in a court filing Thursday that the ban violates federal law. The department filed what is known as a statement of interest in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, its West Virginia chapter and LGBTQ interest group Lambda Legal challenging the ban. The DOJ said the law violates Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal funds, as well as the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Laura Kelly on Thursday vetoed a Republican measure that would have made Kansas the latest state with a GOP-controlled legislature to ban transgender athletes from girls' and women's school sports . Kelly's action was widely expected because she had labeled the bill “regressive” and said it would hurt the state's ability to recruit Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers questions from reporters following a tour of a childcare center, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Topeka, Kan. The Democratic governor calls a Republican proposal to ban transgender athletes from girls' and women's school sports "regressive."

Florida has become the latest US state to ban transgender girls and women from participating in female sports at public schools and colleges. Supporters of the bill say transgender female athletes have an unfair advantage, having been designated male at birth but having since transitioned. But critics say the banning of transgender girls and women from sports is unnecessary and discriminatory. The law will apply to public secondary and high schools, colleges and universities when it comes into effect on 1 July.

The legislation was similar to bans passed by Republican-led legislatures in several states. Idaho was the first state to approve such a bill, and it's been followed by others including Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Proponents in Louisiana pointed to the state of Connecticut, where they said two transgender females participating in women’s track events broke 15 records. They suggested transgender athletes have an automatic, built-in advantage in competitions against other females.


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“Nobody wants to treat anyone with inequity, but there is not an equal situation physically,” Mizell said during legislative debate on the bill.

Though the ban would have kept both transgender girls and boys from competing on teams of their identified gender, nearly all the discussion centered on female sports. Mizell named the bill the “Fairness in Women's Sports Act.”

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Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill Friday that will ban transgender athletes from competing in public school sports under the team matching their gender identities. Meanwhile, other states have begun meeting opposition from Democratic governors and legislators. The bill, and others like it introduced in numerous states, claims that people assigned a male gender at birth have physical and competitive advantages over cisgender women. This claim remains under dispute since transgender sports and exercise science are a relatively new field of study.

Doug Burgum vetoed a bill that would have banned transgender K–12 students from playing on school-sponsored teams of their identifying gender . The move comes as various states have passed legislation banning transgender athletes from competing on teams of their identifying gender . Proponents of the North Dakota bill argue that the ban is a needed step to ensure fairness in girls' sports . Opposition on both sides of the aisle, however, asserts that the bill would have harmful mental health ramifications on transgender and LGBTQ communities throughout the state.

She pushed back against arguments that the law was unnecessary in Louisiana because no specific examples could be located in the state. She told colleagues: "I don’t know why we’d want to wait until the state is in a lawsuit with a school or a family."

Opponents said the ban would discriminate against people who already are marginalized and suggested Louisiana could lose businesses and events that refuse to locate in places that have enacted such laws.

Edwards cited similar concerns. He said the bill “would make life more difficult for transgender children, who are some of the most vulnerable Louisianans when it comes to issues of mental health.”

“We should be looking for more ways to unite, rather than divide our citizens,” he said.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association already has enacted the equivalent of a prohibition on transgender athletes participating on high school sports teams in the state. The organization requires student athletes to compete “in the gender of their birth certificate unless they have undergone sex reassignment.”

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The bill is filed as Senate Bill 156.

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Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte.

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