Gov. John Bel Edwards Says He Won’t Support Bills That Ban Transgender Athletes
Governor John Bel Edwards said Monday that he will not back any bills that would restrict transgender athletes or other proposals that would restrict minors who are seeking transgender treatments.
"I am hopeful that state Legislature does not see fit to advance these bills," the governor said.
Edwards made brief comments to reporters while announcing that Louisiana is getting $216 million in federal dollars for road and bridge projects. That money comes from the second stimulus passed by Congress back in December.
In regards to the transgender discussion, there are three proposals in the state legislature.
One proposal in the state House, sponsored by Rep. Beryl Amedee, R-Houma, would ban transgender athletes from taking part in girls' or women's sports in public schools.
While Amedee acknowledges the issue has not yet caused any problems in Louisiana, she called the measure proactive.
Proponents of the bill say that in the case of athletes, it is unfair to allow trans girls to compete against athletes who were assigned female at birth.
Opponents, however, say that this has not yet caused any issues in schools. Transgender advocacy groups and sports organizations like the NCAA say such bills are based on inaccurate stereotypes and unfairly target transgender women and girls.
"We don't have a problem in Louisiana today," Edwards said.
A second measure by state Sen. Mike Fesi, R-Houma, would require transgender youth to get written consent of their parents to receive hormones, puberty blockers and other gender-affirming therapy. This measure is awaiting action in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
A third proposal by state Rep. Michael Firment, R-Pollock, would actually impose criminal penalties against providers that offer most transgender treatments and surgeries.
The issue has been hotly debated over the last several months across many states. There could be economic ramifications should Louisiana enact any of these controversial transgender laws.
Just last week the NCAA Board of Governors issued a statement saying it will only host championship events in states that are "safe, healthy and free of discrimination." This has many wondering if New Orleans is in jeopardy of losing the NCAA Men's Final Four in 2022 should any of these laws be enacted.
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