House passes bill restricting transgender athletes

Published: May 18, 2022

By: Piper Hutchinson | LSU Manship School News Service

Louisiana State Capitol. (American Press Archives)

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit transgender athletes from competing according to their gender identity.

Senate Bill 44, sponsored by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, is titled the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.” It requires athletes from the elementary through college level to compete based on their sex at birth.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association, which governs high school sports, already requires athletes to compete according to their sex assigned at birth.

The bill cleared the house 72-21. Seven Democrats representatives — Ken Brass of Vacherie, Robby Carter of Amite, Mack Cormier of Belle Chasse, Travis Johnson of Vidalia, Jeremy Lacombe of Livonia, Dustin Miller of Opelousas and Francis Thompson of Delhi, voted for the bill. One of the House’s three Independents, Rep. Joe Marino, voted against the bill.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed the bill when it came up last year and has said he has not changed his stance.

The House needs 70 votes to override a veto. Last year, the bill passed with 78 in favor. Several representatives ultimately changed their votes. The bill was carried on the floor by Rep. Laurie Schlegel, R-Metairie. Schlegel cited transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who won an NCAA title earlier this year. Schlegel argued that Thomas’ victory was not fair.

Read more at The American Press

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