Utah GOP Governor Pledges to Veto Bill Defending Women’s Sports

Utah’s GOP governor has threatened to veto a bill that would prohibit biologically male individuals from participating in female sports.

HB 11 shall instruct student-athletes to compete in sports that correspond with their biological sex, as indicated on their birth certificate. The state Senate approved the legislation on Friday, following its passage by the state assembly in February.

According to the Associated Press, Spencer Cox wants transgender people to know everything will be fine. He stated Friday transgender children should be protected. “We’re going to sort this out.” 

Transgender Legislation

Cox isn’t the only governor to have vetoed similar legislation.

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem managed to draw widespread condemnation in 2021 for neglecting to approve a bill prohibiting biological males from participating in women’s sports.

In February, Noem signed another bill, requiring educational institutions to assign kids to teams according to biological gender.

The governor, who has always defended her decisions, told the Daily Signal in February the initial bill was “seriously defective” and would have been challenged in court. 

According to the Human Rights Campaign, Cox’s veto will probably make Utah the very first state in 2022 to oppose a bill prohibiting biological males from participating in women’s sports.

11 additional states have recently approved similar laws. Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed the prohibition on Thursday. 

Leftist Support

Leftist advocacy organizations and activists lauded Cox’s vow of a veto.

“As the first governor this year to commit to vetoing anti-trans laws sent to his desk for approval, Gov. Cox deserves a lot of credit for taking a stand against those who keep trying to attack and strike transgender youth,” said Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign.

Oakley concluded, “Transgender children are children, and they do not deserve to be the targets of demeaning insults that call their identities into question.” 

“Like all children, kids deserve the opportunity to participate in sports alongside their peers and develop critical life qualities, such as sportsmanship, collaboration, and healthy competitiveness through physical engagement.”

Conservatives, on the other hand, chastised the governor for failing to defend the integrity of women’s sports.

According to data provided by the American Civil Liberties Union, at least 29 states in the United States have taken steps to draft or enact legislation prohibiting biologically male persons from participating in women’s sports.

Similar Republican-backed legislation prohibits minors from receiving transgender surgery and hormone therapy, which activists and much of the legacy media characterize as “gender-affirming medical treatment.”

This is something that’s especially stirred up controversy in the state of Texas.

At Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Biden urged Congress to pass the Equality Act. He also called out the flood of state legislation against transgender citizens and their families.