|UPDATE: Louisiana House lawmakers Wednesday failed to overturn Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of legislation banning transgender athletes from school sports teams, a significant blow to Republican-led efforts to enact the new law in an historic veto session that has seen no bill rejections overridden so far. (More details)|
The Louisiana State Senate voted Tuesday to override Governor John Bel Edwards' veto of the Fairness in Women's Sports Act. The bill prevents individuals from playing sports as the gender in which they identify – for example, a biological male who claims to be a female could not compete in female sports.
Senators voted yesterday 26-12 for the veto override – the exact number of votes needed. The vote fell along party lines, with Republicans in support of the measure and Democrats in opposition. The debate now shifts to the House where Republicans will need to pick up some backing from Democrats and Independents to overturn the veto and enact the ban into law. The bill passed the House in May on a bipartisan vote of 78-17.
"The public has been incredibly engaged in this – and with our faith-based community and the public activated, we've created a whole new conversation at the capital, I believe," says State Senator Beth Mizell (R-District 12).
"I'm hopeful that we have the Democrats' support on the House side – because [since they] voted 'yes' in May, nothing has changed to make [them] vote 'no' now."
Edwards, a Democrat, vetoed the measure a month ago, saying discrimination is not a Louisiana value. "This bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana," the governor stated at the time. Mizell counters that argument.
"Women have worked really hard [in sports] to get to a scholarship level, and to have that taken away by someone who is biologically different and more physically able to outrun a woman, it's not the way things should work," Mizell states. "There was nothing discriminatory in the way we approached it."
Mizell made her comments on the "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" program on Tuesday.