Utah Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Transgender Student Athlete Bill [Photo]

The Utah State Legislature voted on Friday to override the governor’s veto and enacted a bill that would bar young transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports, making the state the 12th in the country to enact such legislation.

via: Complex

The bill was revived after a 21-8 Senate vote and a 56-18 House vote, and the legislation will go into effect on July 1, after 10 House Republicans and 5 Senate Republicans switched their votes to support the bill.

As it stands, transgender girls will be banned from playing on girls athletics teams, with the bill defining “sex” as the “biological, physical condition of being male or female, determined by an individual’s genetics and anatomy at birth,” and preventing “a student of the male sex from competing against another school on a team designated for female students.”

The Republican governor, who said data regarding suicide rates moved him to veto the bill, wrote in a letter that while he doesn’t “understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do,” he noticed that “all the research shows that even a little acceptance and connection can reduce suicidality significantly” in transgender students. He wrote that 75,000 students played high school sports in the state and only four were transgender.

“Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports,” Cox wrote. “That’s what all of this is about. Four kids who aren’t dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships. Four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something. Four kids trying to get through each day,” he wrote. “Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few.”

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, however, argued that the bill “is not about discrimination, it’s about keeping sports fair.” The bill now makes Utah the 12th state banning transgender athletes in high school athletics, following Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

Good on Utah.

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