Utah Governor Will Veto Anti-Transgender Sports Bill

Utah governor will veto legislation passed by conservative lawmakers that would outright ban transgender student athletes from participating in girls leagues.
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Utah’s governor will veto anti-transgender legislation passed Friday evening by conservative lawmakers which would ban trans athletes competing in girls leagues.

According to reports, the last-minute move by conservative lawmakers was a blindside to Gov. Spencer Cox.

More from HuffPost:

Without his support, Utah is unlikely to join the 11 states, all Republican-led, that have recently enacted bans on transgender girls wanting to compete in school sports leagues that correspond with their gender identity.

The governor had for months engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations to broker a compromise between LGBTQ advocates and social conservatives.

After throwing his support behind a proposal to create a first-of-its-kind commission of experts in Utah to make decisions on individual transgender student-athletes aiming to participate, Cox said he was stunned on Friday night as lawmakers advanced and ultimately passed an amended proposal that included an outright ban on transgender student-athletes competing in girls leagues.

In his announcement regarding vetoing the bill, Cox said he has a message for trans student athletes: “I just want them to know that it’s gonna be okay. We’re gonna work through this.”

Related: Idaho Governor Signs Two Anti-Transgender Bills Into Law

Prior to 2020, no state had approved any law pertaining to transgender kids participating in youth sports.

However, 11 states have since passed laws prohibiting trans girls from participating in leagues corresponding with their gender identity — AlabamaArkansasFloridaIdahoIowaMississippiMontanaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexas and West Virginia.