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Louisiana governor vetoes anti-trans athlete bill: ‘Discrimination is not a Louisiana value’

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks to media at his campaign office in Shreveport, La., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. Edwards, a Democrat, was campaigning in the same metropolitan area his Republican challenger, Eddie Rispone, will be holding a campaign rally with President Donald Trump later in the evening.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have banned transgender youth from participating on girls’ or women’s school sports teams.

“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisana,” Edwards said in a statement.

The Democratic governor added that even the bill’s author, Sen. Beth Mizell, “acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue.”

“Further, it would make life more difficult for transgender children, who are some of the most vulnerable Louisianans when it comes to issues of mental health,” said Edwards.

The bill, known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, aimed to bar transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.

Edwards added, “We should be looking for more ways to unite rather than divide our citizens. And while there is no issue to be solved by this bill, it does present real problems in that it makes it more likely that NCAA and professional championships, like the 2022 Final Four, would not happen in our state. For these and for other reasons, I have vetoed the bill.”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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