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Utah bans transgender athletes in girls’ sports despite veto rights | Associated Press

Salt Lake City (AP) — Utah GOP lawmakers push for a ban on transgender youth athletes playing in girls’ teams on Friday, revoke their denials, and have similar legislation in a national cultural war Joined the other 11 states.

A veto letter from Governor Spencer Cox has drawn public attention with a bitter debate that such a law already targets vulnerable transgender children at high risk of suicide.

Business leaders also warned that the ban could have millions of dollars in economic impact on Utah, including the potential loss of next year’s NBA All-Star Game. Utah Jazz called the ban a “discriminatory law” and opposed it.

Prior to the veto, the ban was endorsed by a majority of Utah lawmakers, but did not reach the two-thirds required to revoke it. The sponsor on Friday flipped 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives and 5 Republicans in the Senate who previously voted against the proposal.

Cox was the second Republican governor to dismiss parliamentarians this week for banning sports, but the proposal gained support from a conservative voice base that was particularly influential during Utah’s primary season. However, even as these contests were imminent, some Republicans worked with Cox to refuse the ban.

“I can’t support this bill. I can’t support the invalidation of the veto. If it sacrifices my seat. I do the right thing as usual. “Masu,” said Republican Senator Daniel Thatcher.

By revoking Cox’s veto, 12 states have banned some transgender children in school sports. Utah law will come into effect on July 1.

Efforts to regulate transgender children’s participation in sports have failed to gain traction at the State Capitol, but over the past two years, groups like the American Principles Project have promoted the law nationwide. Started a well-coordinated effort to do. Bans have been introduced in at least 25 states since last year, according to the National Assembly of Parliamentarians. Arizona lawmakers this week And Oklahoma passed the ban.

“You start these battles and inject them into politics,” said Terry Schilling, president of the American Principles Project. “You go through them in some states and it begins to take its own life and becomes organic. We are helping to start this battle and helping to carry it out, Much of this comes from the local level. “

Very conservative Utah leaders say they need a law to protect women’s sports. Parliamentarians argue that physically superior transgender athletes can ultimately dominate the field and change the nature of women’s sports without legal intervention.

There is only one transgender girl in Utah playing sports from kindergarten to high school affected by the ban. There is no claim that any of the four transgender youth athletes in Utah have a competitive advantage.

Visit Salt Lake, the group that hosts conferences, shows and events, said the override could bring state revenue to $ 50 million.Utah-based DNA testing giant I also opposed it.

Salt Lake City will host the NBA All-Star Game in February 2023. The league’s spokesman, Mike Bass, said the league is “closely cooperating” with jazz on this issue. Part of the team is owned by NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade, who has a transgender daughter.

But ban advocates have previously planned to mitigate the effects of boycotts that would have forced North Carolina to abolish legislation limiting public toilets available to transgender people, Schilling said. .. The American Principles Project has strategically focused on the early legislation of the populous and economical state of Jaguar Note, where companies and organizations would lose significant investment if they left.In the precedent of Calm economic repulsion setThe group expects smaller states to receive similar treatment.

Utah legislative leaders said concerns over economic blowbacks and the withdrawal of the NBA from Salt Lake City were premature, and Texas and Florida were not facing a boycott.

“I want the NBA and other groups to understand that our intention here is to protect women’s sports and keep them safe and competitive. , If they’re thinking about the best way to do that, we’ll be happy to chat with them, “said Brad Wilson, Chairman of the Utah Republican House.

Utah has historically been one of the most conservative states in the United States. However, coupled with the growing influence of the tourism industry, the influx of new residents and technology companies often sets the stage for intense social debate in the state of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Demonstrators, both in favor of and against the ban, gathered at the Utah State Capitol on Thursday and Friday.

Friday’s deliberations took place after more than a year of negotiations between social conservatives and LGBTQ supporters. Republican sponsor Kera Barkerland has introduced legislation that requires transgender student athletes to go to government-appointed committees after working with Cox and activists in Utah Equality.

Although this proposal was put together as a compromise, it failed to gain traction on either side. LGBTQ supporters had problems with criteria, including anthropometric measurements such as hip-knee ratios, as Republican politicians appointed members of the committee.

In the last few hours before Congress was postponed earlier this month, Republicans replaced legislation with a total ban.

Basketball coach Burkeland admitted that the proposal caused intense emotions, but said the conversation with the female student athlete forced her to continue her efforts.

“When we say’this is not a problem in our state’, what we say to those girls is’sit, be quiet and get well’,” she said. Told.

Lawmakers anticipate a court challenge similar to the bans in Idaho and West Virginia. They claimed that the ban violated their right to privacy because of the testing required when the athlete’s gender was questioned. The Utah ACLU said Friday that the proceedings were inevitable.

If the court suspends the ban, Utah policy will return to the Commission.

The threat of proceedings worried the school district and the Utah High School Athletic Association. He said it lacked the funds to defend the policy in court. Parliamentarians also amended the ban on Friday to undertake fees from potential proceedings and provided taxpayer dollars to isolate districts and associations from liability.

Utah bans transgender athletes in girls’ sports despite veto rights | Associated Press

Source link Utah bans transgender athletes in girls’ sports despite veto rights | Associated Press

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