Louisiana Dem Gov. Edwards declines to sign, but doesn’t veto, legislation banning transgender athletes in female sports

Democrats across the nation stand virtually united in opposition to Republican-backed legislation to ban biological males from competing in sports or athletic events designated for girls and women.

Yet, the Democratic governor of Louisiana just allowed such a ban to become law in the state, albeit without his signature of approval, TheBlaze reported.

To be clear, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) made it known that he disapproved of the ban on biological males competing unfairly against females, but he acknowledged the reality of a veto-proof Republican majority in the state legislature that was intent on imposing the prohibition with or without the governor’s support.

Governor withholds signature as show of disapproval

Gov. Edwards sent a letter Monday to the Louisiana Senate president to inform her that Senate Bill 44, as the legislation was formally known, would “become law without my signature.”

He noted that he had vetoed a previous attempt to impose the ban on transgender athletes and stated that his position on the issue hadn’t changed in the interim.

“This legislation unfairly targets vulnerable children who are already struggling with gaining acceptance in every aspect of their lives,” Edwards wrote. “Nevertheless, the legislature has made it clear over the last two regular legislative sessions that it believes the policy of the state should be to treat these children differently than who they really are.”

Not an existing problem, but could create more problems

The governor went on to assert that the legislation was a solution in search of a problem as the Louisiana High School Athletics Association already had policies in place to prevent alleged “unfair advantages” in athletic competitions.

He further asserted that all the law will really do is attack and punish transgender students and cause increased divisiveness in the state and legislature.

All of that said, Gov. Edwards concluded, “It is clear to me, both from the support of this bill and from private conversations with legislators, that Senate Bill 44 would have become law regardless of my action on it.”

Female athletes faced an “unfair playing field” against biological male competitors

The USA Today Network reported that Gov. Edwards had vetoed a similar bill in 2021 and the Republican-controlled Louisiana legislature had fallen just two votes shy of overriding that initial veto.

Sen. Beth Mizell (R), who has worked to pass the bill for two years, told the network that it was intended to protect female athletes from the unfair competition posed by biological males who may identify as women but still have the immutable physical characteristics of a male athlete as an advantage over female competitors.

The GOP senator told the media outlet, “Women have worked too hard for too long to get to the competitive level we have attained to now face an unfair playing field.” Now, at least in Louisiana, and despite the Democratic governor’s disapproval, that “unfair playing field” for female athletes will no longer be an issue.

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