In a press release dated Friday, Governor Tom Wolf (pictured) defended his veto, saying House Bill 972 amounted to discrimination:
"The fact that this bill passed through Pennsylvania's Republican-led General Assembly solely to bully and oppress vulnerable children is atrocious. These members should be ashamed of themselves for proposing and voting on policies that are discriminatory, unnecessary, and incredibly harmful."
"Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Republican House and Senate will be able to get enough of a majority to override," Emily Kreps of Pennsylvania Family Institute tells AFN. "I think it needs a two-thirds majority."
AFN reported in a July 6 story that Gov. Wolf vowed weeks ago to veto “any legislation that discriminates against LGBTQIA-plus Pennsylvanians.”
That same story quoted Democratic lawmakers who accused their GOP colleagues of playing politics with “imaginary” problems, even though the University of Pennsylvania made national news for male swimmer "Lia" Thomas (pictured left). He dominated his female teammates and won a women’s title at the NCAA championship.
Kreps says some Democrats in the Pennsylvania legislature did vote for the measure, including one female senator.
"Senator Lisa Boscola from the Allentown area actually voted with Republicans,” Kreps points out, “but it's just not enough for an override on it."
When the bill was being debated by the House Education Committee, state legislators heard from a female track team member and from a member of a girls’ cross-country team that was forced to allow a male runner to use their locker room. Those first-hand accounts fell on deaf ears, however.
"… To just ignore that type of testimony is really a slap in the face for women and girls in Pennsylvania and their ability to fairly compete in sports," says Kreps.
To defend his veto, Gov. Wolf also accused Republican legislators of attempting to “bully and oppress vulnerable children,” when numerous female athletes have said they are being bullied into remaining quiet in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity.”