Kentucky Gov Beshear Vetoes Bill Banning Trans Girls From Competing In Girls Sports

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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a bill on Wednesday to ban transgender girls from girls’ sports in the state.

WYMT reports that supporters said Senate Bill 83 — which was passed by Kentucky’s Senate on March 24 and would have banned transgender girls from participating in school sports that match their gender identity from sixth grade to college — protects girls’ sports by making sure they have a fair chance to succeed.

The ACLU and Fairness Campaign said the bill violates Title IX and will jeopardize students’ mental health, the outlet reports.

Andy Beshear
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Jan. 27, 2022. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

American Civil Liberties Union Kentucky spokesman Samuel Crankshaw called the measure a “solution in search of a non-existent problem” and urged the governor to veto the bill.

The State House passed SB 83 in a 70 to 23 vote and the Senate sent it to the governor’s desk in a 26 to 9 vote.

The governor’s veto message can be read here.

In the governor’s veto message regarding the bill, he said the General Assembly calls Senate Bill 83 the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.”

“If it were truly the intention of the General Assembly to prevent unfair advantage in women’s sports, it needed to look no further than the policies of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association,” he wrote.

After outlining the guidelines of the association’s current policy, Beshear said:

“In recent weeks, the Republican Governors of Utah and Indiana vetoed similar bills banning trans gender children from participating in school sports. They each mentioned the several lawsuits across the country challenging similar bills with initial rulings enjoining their enforcement on equal protection grounds. They each also noted the inability of their state legislatures to identify any existing problems with transgender children participating in their respective state’s school sports. Most importantly, however, the Governor of Utah acknowledged the difficulties faced by our transgender community and the research that shows that the acceptance and connection transgender children experience through school sports can reduce suicidality significantly.”

A simple majority is needed to override a gubernatorial veto.

The governor’s veto message can be read here. The bill can be read here, and more about the bill’s history can be read here.

Follow Meg Turner on Twitter @Megnturner_ and Instagram @Megnturner

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Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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