N.O. mayor issues statement supporting Gov. Edwards’ veto of ‘hateful bill’ against trans athletes

Politics

FILE – In this Nov. 5, 2019 file photo, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening the newly built main terminal of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, La. Cantrell came to the Louisiana Capitol on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, to ask for money to help the city’s coronavirus-damaged budget, but Republican lawmakers questioned her economic reopening decisions rather than offering her promises of aid. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A day after Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined other mayors across Louisiana in opposition to a possible veto override of controversial gun bill, she once again is asking the Louisiana Legislature to uphold a Gov. John Bell Edwards’ veto.

On Wednesday, Cantrell issued a statement against Senate Bill 156 authored by Sen. Beth Mizell that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity:

The fact is the legislature passed SB 156 despite having no evidence that participation by trans athletes has caused an issue in Louisiana, and in the face of the very real possibility of economic boycotts. New Orleans is a welcoming city, with no place for discrimination. We stand firmly with our trans brothers, sisters, and siblings against this hateful bill. Governor Edwards was right to veto SB 156 and we urge legislators to let that veto stand. To target children in this way is simply unconscionable. And as the Mayor of New Orleans, let me say this to the trans youth in our community: no matter what laws the legislature passes, you will always be loved and accepted here in New Orleans.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell

SB 156, known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, would prevent transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. 

“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” Edwards said in a post-veto statement issued from the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La. “Even the author of the bill 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. 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.”

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