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Wisconsin governor vetoes transgender athletics ban at state’s high schools

Wisconsin Democrat governor Tony Evers attends Juneteenth festival event; Milwaukee^ Wisconsin. June 19th^ 2021:
Wisconsin Democrat governor Tony Evers attends Juneteenth festival event; Milwaukee^ Wisconsin. June 19th^ 2021:

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that would have banned transgender young people from participating in student sport activities that align with their chosen gender identity, and not based on sex assigned at birth. Assembly Bill 37 had passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled state legislature in a 63-35 party-line vote in October, followed by the state’s Senate approval weeks ago in a 21-11 vote. The legislation would have forced those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming to play on the sports teams consistent with their gender assigned at birth.

Evers posted a video of himself vetoing the bill on social media, writing: “I just vetoed Republicans’ anti-LGBTQ bill to ban trans and gender nonconforming kids from participating in school sports teams that align with their gender identity. LGBTQ kids deserve our love and respect and support just like any other kid.”

Evers said in his veto message: “I believe this bill fails to comport with our Wisconsin values. We expect our kids to treat each other with kindness, respect, empathy and compassion, and we should be able to expect adults to lead by example.”

Evers – a former teacher, principal and school superintendent – said in his veto message that this type of legislation “harms LGBTQ Wisconsinites’ and kids’ mental health, emboldens anti-LGBTQ harassment, bullying, and violence, and threatens the safety and dignity of LGBTQ Wisconsinites, especially our LGBTQ kids.”  The two-term Democratic governor vowed that as long as he is governor, he will not allow for “radical policies targeting LGBTQ individuals and families and threatening LGBTQ folks’ everyday lives and their ability to be safe, valued, supported, and welcome being who they are.”

Per ABC News, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association requires transgender athletes to undergo hormone therapy before they can play on the teams of their choice. The association’s policy is modeled after NCAA requirements for transgender athletes.

Editorial credit: Aaron of L.A. Photography /

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