‘A certain mean spiritedness nature to it,’ says Governor on ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act’

After last year's failure to override the governor's veto on the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, Sen. Beth Mizell is pushing her bill forward once again.
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 4:43 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards did not hold back on his radio show Wednesday afternoon, when asked about his opinion on the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act’, which continues to move forward at the State Capital.

Senate Bill 44 by State Senator Beth Mizell, a Republican from district 12, now heads to the House Committee on Education, after passing the Senate floor on Tuesday, April 19, by a 29 to 6 vote.

It requires people to play in school sports teams, based on the gender they were assigned at birth.

“From day 1, my bill has been to protect women,” said Senator Beth Mizell (R).

After last year’s failure by Republicans to get enough votes to override Governor John Bel Edwards’ veto on Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, Senator Mizell is pushing her bill forward once again.

“It’s incredibly simple, if you’re born and your biology is a female, you play female sports. If you’re born a male, then you don’t play female sports,” said Senator Mizell.

The bill would keep transgender athletes across the state, from competing on girls sports teams at colleges and universities, along with K-12 schools.

But the governor says there are more important issues our state is facing, than this.

“My position hasn’t changed. In the intervening year, there still hasn’t been a single case of this happening in Louisiana. And you know, for that reason it is wholly unnecessary. And because it is unnecessary, I think that there is a certain mean spiritedness nature to it. And obviously I would much rather the legislature spend its time focusing on issues that people are actually talking about around their supper table. This is not one of them,” said Governor John Bel Edwards (D), on ‘Ask The Governor’ on Talk Louisiana WRKF.

“I think to call a bill mean spirited, when the goal of the bill from day 1 is to protect the right of biological women to compete against biological women, is really confusing for me,” said Sen. Mizell.

On the radio, the governor was asked by Jim Engster about how the bill could have impacted March Madness in New Orleans.

“Do you think Louisiana would’ve lost the Final 4 if that bill would’ve became law last year,” questioned Jim Engster.

“Well I know that would’ve been a distinct possibility. I can’t tell you if the NCAA for a fact would have pulled it,” said Gov. Edwards.

While trans advocates say the bill is another form of discrimination to the trans community, Senator Mizell says this bill is more of a preventive measure, in case a situation could pop up at LHSAA in the future.

“I really don’t understand why we would have something to happen, that would really create some heartache in a lot of directions. And this bill prevents this from happening, and it just keeps in place what we’ve always had in place,” said Senator Mizell.

You can read the whole bill here.

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