Mar 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Utah governor vows to veto transgender sports ban

The Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City. Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) vowed to veto legislation passed Friday that would ban transgender students from competing in girls sports, AP reports.

Driving the news: "We care deeply about Utah's female athletes and our LGBTQ+ community," Cox wrote on Facebook.

  • "To those hurting tonight: It's going to be OK. We're going to help you get through this. Please reach out if you need help," Cox wrote.

State of play: The legislation bans "biological males," which it defines as "an individual’s genetics and anatomy at birth," from girls sports leagues.

  • Cox said he was surprised on Friday that the state Senate and House passed a ban on transgender student-athletes competing in girls leagues.
  • He supported a proposal to create a commission of political appointees to make decisions about individual transgender students participating in youth sports, AP reports.

What they're saying: "We have failed our state’s transgender children, who just want to be treated with kindness and respect,” Equality Utah, an LGBTQ rights group, said in a statement to AP.

The big picture: Eleven Republican-led states have passed bills prohibiting trans girls from playing in sports leagues that align with their gender identity.

Go deeper: Gov. Reynolds signs Iowa bill banning trans girls from women's sports

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