UT overturns government veto on bill banning transgender youth from playing sports

On Friday, the Utah state legislature overruled a governor’s veto on a bill banning transgender youth from competing on women’s teams.

Governor Spencer Cox (R-UT) vetoed the legislation on Tuesday because he “tried to do what I think was the right thing, regardless of the consequences.”

The Utah House voted 56 to 18 and the state Senate 21 to 8, giving the legislature the supermajority needed to override Governor Cox’s veto. Eight Utah lawmakers changed their original votes and joined the supermajority.

The NBA’s Utah Jazz issued a statement against overriding the legislature’s veto. “The Utah Jazz oppose discriminatory legislation. We are committed to our values ​​of inclusiveness, mutual respect and fair play,” the statement said. noted. “Beyond basketball, we hope for an equitable solution that shows love and compassion for all of our young people.”

The 2023 NBA All-Star Game is set to take place in Salt Lake City, Utah in February. However, opponents of the bill feared Salt Lake City could suffer the same fate as North Carolina after the NBA moved the All-Star Game from Charlotte after the state passed a bill ordering transgender people to use the bathroom of their sex assigned at birth.

School districts in Utah were also concerned about potential lawsuits from pro-transgender groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We are deeply disappointed and saddened by today’s votes by the Utah Legislature to discriminate against transgender youth in order to exclude them from full participation on sports teams,” the ACLU of Utah said. noted. “Litigation to prevent HB11 from taking effect is now both necessary and inevitable to secure the constitutional promises of equal protection for all Utahns.”

However, to relieve school districts from the fear of litigation, the Utah Legislature passed HB3001, a bill to indemnify school districts and the association’s activities from litigation arising from the transgender sports bill. .

The Utah law will go into effect July 1.


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