LOUISIANA — The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 68-30 to sustain Governor John Bel-Edwards’ veto of Louisiana SB 156, a bill that would have banned transgender athletes, particularly girls and women, from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Governor Bel Edwards vetoed the legislation in late June. A veto override was being considered by the legislature as part of the state’s first veto override session in modern history.
Louisiana was one of more than thirty states that have either considered or passed restrictions against transgender athletes. Seven states — Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia — have enacted anti-transgender legislation this session. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a “style and form” veto to similar legislation in her state before issuing two executive orders to similar effect.
“Today, the Louisiana House failed to force a discriminatory anti-transgender sports ban bill into law. By doing so, transgender young people across the state from have been saved from being targeted in a dangerous bill that denies them the fundamental right to be treated just like any other kid,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Sustaining Governor Bel Edwards’ veto by rejecting this arbitrary, discriminatory bill affirms the reality that transgender people have been playing sports for years without incident. There is simply no basis — no evidence or local examples of the issue this bill was trying to address. This legislation was, simply put, a dangerous waste of time and Louisianans deserve a legislature that spends more time and energy on the issues that are actually plaguing the state and need addressing.”
States have now enacted more anti-LGBTQ laws this year than in the last three years combined. So far in 2021, 25 anti-LGBTQ bills have been enacted into law and more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, more than 130 directly target transgender people and about half would, like SB 156, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.
The Human Rights Campaign recently filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, challenging a Florida law banning transgender girls from participating in sports. Amid the unprecedented attack on transgender youth, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced that, in addition to its Florida lawsuit, it will bring a series of legal challenges across the country of anti-equality laws in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, and plans to continue holding anti-equality elected officials accountable in court and at the ballot box.