Transgender Sports Ban Passed By Louisiana House, Governor Edwards Expected to Veto
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly passed legislation on Thursday that would prohibit transgender athletes from competing on girls' sports teams in Louisiana schools. The measure would apply to K-12 schools and colleges.
The bill now heads to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards, who is expected to veto the bill.
The measure was proposed by Franklinton Senator Beth Mizell, the Senate's second-ranking Republican. It passed both the House and Senate with veto-proof margins.
In the Senate, the bill passed by a 29-6 vote and a 78-17 bipartisan vote in the House. However, it's unclear if those groups would stick together to override a veto from Edwards, who says the bill is discriminatory.
Similar bans have been passed by Republican-led Legislatures in several states. Supporters here in Louisiana say they are trying to protect female athletes from unfair competition and preserve equality for women's sports.
"Allowing biological males to compete in women's sports shatters girls' equal opportunities," said Rep. Laurie Schlegel. "Let's protect our girls."
Opponents say the ban would discriminate against people who are already marginalized. They point to the fact that there has not been an example of transgender women breaking records or competing in female sports in our state.
"This is a solution in search of a problem," said Rep. Royce Duplessis, a New Orleans Democrat.
Gov. Edwards has called this measure and others targeting transgender youth as unnecessary.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has already issued a de facto ban on transgender athletes participating on high school sports teams. The organization requires that athletes "shall compete in the gender of their birth certificate unless they have undergone sex reassignment."