A bill passed into law on Monday will not allow transgender athletes to take part in sports on girl’s and women’s teams in Louisiana.
The bill was passed by Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards. He previously stated that he was opposed to the bill.
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He said, “It was obvious to me after two years it was going to become law whether or not I signed or vetoed the bill.”
“I think it’s unfortunate, but it’s where we are. And I hope we can all get to a point soon where we realize that these young people are doing the very best that they can to survive. I just think we can be better than that bill,” he added.
He protested, “Whether it’s intended or not the effect is to send a strong message to at least some of these young people that they shouldn’t be who they think they are, who they believe they are, who they know they are, and I find that distressing.”
Edwards said that this bill is a “solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana.”
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will require Louisiana K-12 schools, as well as universities, to “designate intercollegiate and interscholastic athletic teams according to the biological sex of the team members.” The act defines “biological sex” as the sex listed on someone’s birth certificate at the time of their birth. They also explicitly state that teams specifically for females are “not open to participation” by anyone who has a birth certificate that says they are male.
This bill will also give students and others the opportunity to sue any school that allows trans girls and women to play on female sports teams.
People who support the bill argue that there are inherent differences between men and women, and this gives transgender women an advantage over cisgender women and girls.
Caitlyn Jenner, a trans woman, has spoken about transgender athletes.
Jenner said, “This is a question of fairness. That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school.”
“It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
Louisiana is the 18th state to enact a law prohibiting transgender athletes from competing in girls’ or women’s sports. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia have all passed similar bills.
This bill will become law on August 1st, 2022, and will apply to public elementary, middle and high schools, public universities, and any private school or university that receives public funding.