BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bill that would keep transgender women and girls in Louisiana from competing on college and K-12 women’s and girls’ athletic teams moved a step closer to passage Wednesday, despite opposition from Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Baton Rouge news outlets report that the bill was approved for House debate 7-1 by the House Education Committee. The measure by Republican Sen. Beth Mizell of Franklinton has already cleared the Senate.
House members passed the bill overwhelmingly last year but fell short of what was needed to override an Edwards veto. In April, Edwards said the bill was unnecessary. But he has not said whether he would veto the measure this year.
The measure would apply to K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities if they receive state funding. “Athletic teams or sporting events designated for females, girls, or women shall not be open to students who are not biologically female,” the bill states.
Opponents of the bill say there are no known transgender athletes currently competing in the state. They said it adds to discrimination against an already marginalized group. Backers say athletes who were born biologically male have physical advantages over biological females.