Governor of Wisconsin Rejects Legislation Prohibiting Transgender High School Athletes

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature that aimed to ban high school transgender athletes from competing on teams that match their gender identity.

Evers, a Democrat, had been clear about his intention to veto the bill from the start. Despite lacking the votes to prevent its passage in the Legislature, he carried out his veto surrounded by fellow Democrats, transgender advocates, the mayor of Madison, and other supporters.

Republicans do not have enough votes to override the veto.

In his veto message, Evers stated that this type of legislation has negative impacts on the mental health of LGBTQ Wisconsinites, fuels anti-LGBTQ harassment, bullying, and violence, and poses a threat to the safety and dignity of LGBTQ individuals, particularly young people.

Evers made a commitment to prevent “radical policies” that target LGBTQ individuals and families, aiming to ensure their safety, support, and acceptance in society.

The bill sought to restrict high school athletes to participating in teams based on the gender assigned to them at birth.

Supporters of the bill argued it was a matter of fairness for non-transgender athletes. However, opponents viewed it as discriminatory and harmful to transgender youth, citing a lack of real issues with transgender high school athletes in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association mandates that transgender athletes undergo hormone therapy before they can join the teams they choose, following similar policies to the NCAA for transgender athletes.

While around 20 states have implemented some form of ban on transgender athletes in K-12 and collegiate sports teams, a proposal from the Biden administration aims to prohibit such bans to uphold Title IX, the gender equity law from 1972.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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