Louisiana became the 18th state to ban transgender women and girls from playing on female school sports teams Monday after the state’s Democratic governor chose not to veto or approve the bill.
Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who is opposed to the bill and vetoed a nearly identical measure last year, on Monday said he would allow the bill to become law without his signature as its codification is inevitable due to widespread support in the House and Senate. Both chambers passed the law by a more than two-thirds vote.
He said, “It was obvious to me after two years it was going to become law whether or not I signed or vetoed the bill.”
“I think it’s unfortunate, but it’s where we are. And I hope we can all get to a point soon where we realize that these young people are doing the very best that they can to survive. I just think we can be better than that bill,” he added.
The Governor continued, “Whether it’s intended or not the effect is to send a strong message to at least some of these young people that they shouldn’t be who they think they are, who they believe they are, who they know they are, and I find that distressing.”
Edwards said that this bill is a “solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana.”
This is a wave that is moving throughout the US. Louisiana is only the latest state to pass a law preventing transgender athletes from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Similar legislation has successfully passed in at least 17 states.
So far this year, other GOP-led states that have enacted such bans include Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Last year, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia enacted similar sports bans, infuriating LGBTQ advocates, who argue that conservatives are creating an issue where there isn’t one.
Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell has said she sponsored the bill to protect cisgender girls and women, who identify with their assigned sexes at birth, from having to compete against trans girls, whom she believes have an inherent physical advantage, local outlet the Louisiana Illuminator reported.
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