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Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed Senate Bill 156 authored by Sen. Beth Mizell during the 2021 Regular Legislative Session.  The bill, known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, sought to prevent transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.

With the option of returning to Baton Rouge for a veto override session this summer, Louisiana lawmakers could attempt to override the veto. The House passed the bill 78-19, and the Senate passed it 29-6. Such margins could allow for an override.

Gov. Edwards issued the following statement:

“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana. Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue.

Further, it would make life more difficult for transgender children, who are some of the most vulnerable Louisianans when it comes to issues of mental health. We should be looking for more ways to unite rather than divide our citizens. And while there is no issue to be solved by this bill, it does present real problems in that it makes it more likely that NCAA and professional championships, like the 2022 Final Four, would not happen in our state. For these and for other reasons, I have vetoed the bill.”