Louisiana has become the 18th state to prohibit transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports after the state’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards allowed a bill to become law without his signature on June 6 despite opposing the legislation.
Edwards, who vetoed a nearly identical measure last year, said the law was inevitable because of its overwhelming support in the House and Senate. Both chambers passed the law by a more than two-thirds vote.
“It was obvious to me after two years it was going to become law whether or not I signed or vetoed the bill,” Edwards said Monday night during a press conference.
The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will require Louisiana K-12 schools, as well as public universities and any private school or university that receives public funds, to “designate intercollegiate and interscholastic athletic teams according to the biological sex of the team members.” The bill defines “biological sex” as the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate. It also explicitly states that teams designated for biological females are “not open to participation” by biological males.
The law also points out the “biological differences between men and women,” especially as they relate to natural levels of testosterone, stating that “strength, speed and endurance” is generally found in “greater degrees in biological males than biological females.”
Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell has been working for two years to pass the transgender sports ban. She said her bill will protect girls and young women from facing athletes who would have a physical advantage because of their biological sex.
“Women have worked too hard for too long to get to the competitive level we have attained to now face an unfair playing field,” Mizell told USA Today Network.
In a statement to The Christian Post, Meridian Baldacci, a spokesperson for Family Policy Alliance, the lobbying arm of the Christian organization Focus on the Family, described the bill’s passage as a “milestone in the movement to Save Girls’ Sports.”
“In protecting female athletes, Louisiana joins Idaho (the first state to protect girls’ sports), along with Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Alabama, Tennessee, South Dakota, West Virginia, Texas, Florida, Iowa, Utah, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina and Indiana. Many of these states, including Louisiana, extend protections for female athletes who have achieved even higher levels of competition at the collegiate level,” she explained.
The Louisiana bill will become law on Aug. 1.
Photo: Kim Karpeles/Alamy