A Louisiana bill that prohibits
transgender girls and women from competing on sports teams that match
their gender identity will become law despite the governor's
Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards
vetoed a similar bill law last June.
On Monday, Edwards lamented that
vetoing Senate Bill 44 would not stop it from becoming law since
lawmakers approved it with a veto-proof majority.
“I think it's unfortunate, but it is
where we are,” he told reporters. “And I hope we can all get to a
point soon where we realize that these young people are doing the
very best that they can to survive.”
Edwards also said that the measure was
unnecessary, noting there “hasn't been a single instance in
Louisiana of a trans girl participating in sports.”
The bill, which takes effect on August
1, targets public and private schools that receive state funds. It
does not restrict participation by transgender male students.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, said that it was disappointed
by Edwards' decision to allow the bill to become law without his
“Governor Edwards’ decision betrays
his LGBTQ+ constituents and fails the transgender youth who were
counting on his leadership,” HRC State Legislative Director and
Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley said in a statement. “Earlier this
year, multiple Republican governors defied likely veto overrides to
defend transgender youth. Allowing this discriminatory bill to become
law sends a dangerous message that protecting Louisiana’s
transgender youth isn’t a priority.”
“We stand by Louisianans who feel
betrayed by a governor who promised to fight for all Louisianans,
including the LGBTQ+ community. The radical politicians that
engineered this bill are targeting kids who just want to play sports
for the same reason all students do – to learn the values of
teamwork, to face healthy competition, and to have fun. These
children were failed by their leaders,” Oakley said.
Louisiana becomes the 18th
state to pass such a bill.