The Republican supermajority Utah legislature has voted to override Gov. Spencer Cox’s (R) veto of a bill banning males from performing in women’s sports.
The House voted 56-18 and the Senate voted 21-8 to override Spencer’s veto on Friday, clearing the way for the bill to take effect on July 1.
— Brian Mullahy (@bmullahy2news) March 25, 2022
From the The Salt Lake Tribune:
The bill, HB11, originally intended to create a commission charged with evaluating whether a transgender athlete could participate in a school sport — a compromise that avoided an outright ban. But during final hours of the legislative session earlier this month, the Legislature passed a last-minute amendment to the bill that banned transgender girls from participating in female school sports.
Spencer defended his veto following the override vote, claiming he acted out of “kindness, mercy and compassion” for “transgender” individuals.
“I must admit, I am not an expert on transgenderism. I struggle to understand so much of it and the science is conflicting. When in doubt however, I always try to err on the side of kindness, mercy and compassion. I also try to get proximate and I am learning so much from our transgender community. They are great kids who face enormous struggles,” Spencer said in a statement.
Republican lawmakers supporting the veto override held a rally on the Capitol steps just before the vote but were met with a crowd of leftists protesters chanting “trans rights are human rights.”
As the rally wrapped, protesters of HB11 changed “Trans rights are human rights.” pic.twitter.com/4TXKMYv3Pd
— Kim Bojórquez (@kimbojorque) March 25, 2022
The American Civil Liberties Union vowed to sue over the bill protecting women’s sports.
“We are deeply disappointed and saddened at today’s votes by the Utah Legislature to discriminate against transgender youth to exclude them from participating fully on sports teams,” the organization said in a statement. “Litigation to stop H.B. 11 from taking effect is now both necessary and inevitable to ensure Constitutional promises of equal protection to all Utahns.”
Sen. Curt Bramble (R-Provo) responded that protecting women and girls’ rights to compete in a fair playing field outweighs threats of litigation.
“What about biological females who believe they’re being discriminated against because they can’t compete? This particular issue of fairness and equality in women’s sports is something many of us are concerned about,” Bramble said.
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