Kentucky governor halts bill that would ban transgender students from women’s sports

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4/8/22

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a bill this week that would mandate student athletes to participate in sports based on the sex written on their birth certificate. Senate Bill 83, known as the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” passed the state Senate 26-9 and was sent to Beshear on March 25. Beshear’s veto came on Wednesday. “Transgender children deserve public officials’ efforts to demonstrate that they are valued members of our communities through compassion, kindness and empathy, even if not understanding,” Beshear, a Democrat, said in a letter. The bill said that K-12 schools belonging to the Kentucky Board of Education “shall designate all athletic teams, activities and sports for students in grades six through twelve as one of the following categories: ‘boys,’ ‘coed’ or ‘girls.'” At public colleges in the state, the bill would have disallowed transgender women from participating in both intercollegiate and intramural sports. Additionally, the bill stated that for Kentucky students wanting to participate in sports, their sex would be determined by the sex printed on their birth certificate and an affidavit from a doctor ascertaining that information. Beshear noted in a letter that the Kentucky High School Athletic Association encourages transgender students to participate in sports, free from discrimination. “Senate Bill 83 bans transgender children from participating in girls’ or women’s sports without presenting a single instance in Kentucky of a child gaining a competitive advantage as a result of sex reassignment,” Beshear said in a letter.

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