Louisiana House Defeats Bill Protecting Gender-Specific High School Sports, Upholding Governor Veto

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The Louisiana House failed to override a governor veto against a bill that would have prohibited high school athletes from playing on teams that did not correspond with their biological gender.

The Louisiana state Senate had reached the necessary two-thirds majority support to pass the controversial bill on Tuesday, overriding Governor John Bel Edwards’ veto.

Senate Bill 156, also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, was passed by the Senate on the first day of the veto override session, which was the first in the state’s history since the constitution was changed nearly half a century ago to allow such scenarios, Just the News reported.

Edwards vetoed eight regular session bills, and while all eight of these bills were called in the veto override session, only SB 156 was successfully upheld by the legislative body.

While there was bipartisan support for the bill among lawmakers, Edwards, a Democrat who vowed to veto any such bill at the onset of this year’s legislative session, said it “unfairly targets children who are going through unique challenges and offers solutions to an issue that does not exist in Louisiana.”

Edwards and Democratic lawmakers also pointed to potential boycotts of their state by entities such as the NAACP, which has vowed to pull out of any state that passes such legislation.

While state Democratic Senators Regina Barrow, Katrina Jackson, Gary Smith, and Gregory Tarver approved the measure during the regular session, they voted against it this time, joining every other one of their Democratic colleagues to affirm the veto.

The bill passed with the minimum number of votes needed to override a governor’s veto in the Senate, but failed to reach this mark in the House, narrowly missing the 70 votes it needed to do so, The Hill reported, with a vote of just 68-30.

“I would rather the headlines going out from today be that Louisiana did what was right and best. We rejected a play out of a national playbook that just had no place in Louisiana. That bill wasn’t crafted for our state, I mean go read it and look at the arguments that were made. None of that applies here,” Edwards said in response to the news.

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