Home US Kentucky Republicans Override Veto Of Bill Barring Trans Girls From Women’s Sports
US - April 14, 2022

Kentucky Republicans Override Veto Of Bill Barring Trans Girls From Women’s Sports

Kentucky Republicans voted on Wednesday to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of legislation that bans transgender girls from participating in any sport or athletic activity designated for girls.

The state Senate voted 29-8 and the state House voted 72-43 to override Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 83, rendering it law.

Under the new law, Kentucky public schools are now required to categorize all athletic activities for grades 6-12 as “boys,” “coed,” or “girls” activities. The legislation does not restrict students of any gender from participating in sports designated for “boys” or as “coed,” but does so for girls sports.

The law will also prevent Kentucky school districts and athletic organizations from “entertaining complaints or investigations of policies,” according to the text of the legislation.

Beshear vetoed S.B. 83 last week, saying the bill discriminates against transgender children. “Transgender children deserve public officials’ efforts to demonstrate that they are valued members of our communities through compassion, kindness and empathy, even if not understanding,” he said.

Kentucky state Sen. Robby Mills (R), who sponsored the bill, called Wednesday’s vote a “huge win for the integrity of women’s sports,” according to WLEX-TV.

The Human Rights Campaign also released a statement on the vote: “We sincerely thank Gov. Beshear for seeing the humanity of transgender youth and speaking out against this discriminatory legislation. The Human Rights Campaign condemns this action by the Kentucky General Assembly and will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight for the rights all transgender youth and their families.”

Beshear mentioned in his veto letter that he “shares the same concerns” as other governors who have vetoed anti-trans legislation. Republican Govs. Spencer Cox of Utah and Eric Holcomb of Indiana voted to repeal similar anti-trans sports laws.

In March, President Joe Biden talked about anti-transgender legislation in a video message celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility.

“The onslaught of anti-transgender state laws attacking you and your families is simply wrong,” Biden said. “This administration is standing up for you against all these hateful bills. And we’re committed to advancing transgender equality in the classroom, on the playing field, at work, in our military and our housing and health care systems.”

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