Republican lawmakers in Utah overrode a veto from the state’s governor, also a Republican, to push through a ban on transgender youth in girls’ sports.
A total of 15 Republican lawmakers—10 state Representatives and five state senators—flipped to support the bill.
Gov. Spencer Cox earlier this week vetoed the measure, H.B. 11, that “[prohibits] a student of the male sex from competing against another school on a team designated for female students.”
The measure will now go into effect July 1, making Utah the 12th state to enact some form of a ban on transgender athletes in school sports. The other 11 states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
Cox’s veto on March 22 came just a day prior to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a similar bill in his state.
In his veto letter, Cox expressed several concerns over the bill, chief among them that there was a “hastily adopted amendment” to explicitly exclude local schools in Utah from indemnification. He said if the measure was passed in this version, it could “result in millions of dollars in legal fees for local school districts with no state protection.”
Cox called for a special session on March 25 to let lawmakers consider amending the ban to include financial protection to the government.
The governor said in a statement late on March 25, “I am grateful the Legislature recognized that there were serious flaws with HB11 and for the heightened debate and input legislators were able to receive over the past few weeks.
“I called a Special Session today to fix at least one flaw in the bill, and we’re heartened that the Legislature agreed to indemnify school districts and the Utah High School Activities Association from the enormous financial burden that inevitable litigation will have on them.
“I remain hopeful that we will continue to work on a more inclusive, fair, and compassionate policy during the interim.”
This is an excerpt from The Epoch Times.
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