Vetoed transgender bill makes second attempt at becoming law
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - This is Republican Sen. Beth Mizell’s second attempt to get this bill signed into law. Last year, it nearly made it but was shot down with a stroke of a pen from Governor John Bel Edwards.
It’s called the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.” Its purpose is to keep those born male from competing in high school and college athletic competitions with those born as females.
“Women are losing their ability to get scholarships, records that women have held are being broken by transgender athletes that really still have the physical abilities of a male,” said Sen. Mizell.
Having had her bill soar through the legislature with lopsided support, only to be killed by the governor, Sen. Mizell of Franklinton said she believes it will be different this time around.
“The only addition was it defines that biological sex means a statement of a student’s biological sex from the official birth certificate. So, it clears up where the biological sex determination would be arrived from,” Sen. Mizell continued.
Senate Bill 44 argues that sex characteristics, which develop during puberty, that are the “most important for success in sports” are generally stronger in men. During last year’s veto override session, Gov. Edwards said the bill was mean-spirited and that it would carry with it significant economic consequences from out-of-state investors, for example, the NCAA men’s Final Four, which one of the largest sporting events in the country.
“It’s not mean-spirited because it’s intent is strictly to defend the right of women to compete with women,” Sen. Mizell explained.
But trans advocates said the bill disguises discrimination with feminism. At least 25 other states have policies in place that let athletes compete with their preferred group.
“Personally, I feel like when you are making that full transition and when you’re taking hormones and stuff necessary to become a biological woman, I feel like it’s kind of in a way degrading and a slap in the face to say that they can’t do this sport because of something that you believe in,” said LSU student Loni Jackson.
She said she understands both sides but is won over by a personal friend who is trans and plays sports.
“I would never be able to explain it as well as she is, but she says when you take the hormone pills and go through the surgeries, she said it’s just so much more. And she said you may look at me as a girl who used to be a guy, but in her eyes, she’s a girl,” Jackson continued.
Senator Mizell has served as the Chair of the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus. The Regular Legislative Session begins March 14, 2022.
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