Pennsylvania Governor Vetoes Transgender Athlete Bill

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Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf has vetoed the "Fairness in Women's Sports Act," which if enacted would have required an entity or public institution to designate sports as for males, boys, or men; female, women, or girls; or co-ed or mixed. 

Wolf called the law "discriminatory transphobic legislation." 

The bill also restricted "students of the male sex" from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls. 

Wolf released the following letter on Friday, saying he stands with the transgender community:  

This discriminatory legislation would prohibit transgender girls and women from participating on women’s athletic teams or sports. The bill denies opportunities to transgender youth, which would have a devastating impact on a vulnerable population already at greater risk of bullying and depression. The harmful impact of politicizing transgender and other LGBTQ+ issues is evident by increasing rates of suicidal thoughts among LGBTQ+ young people. Even if enacted, this bill would face legal challenges for violating federal law and constitutional guarantees of equal protection. My Administration is committed to supporting transgender individuals and ensuring that Pennsylvania is an inclusive place, and we stand against efforts to divide us and distract us from critical work needed to enhance protections for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians. LGBTQ+ youth with supportive parents and caregivers, schools, and communities report lower rates of attempting suicide and better mental health. To the LGBTQ+ community in Pennsylvania and around the country, and especially to our transgender and nonbinary youth and young people: I see you, I support you, I respect you, and I stand with you. 

Proponents of the bill say the law would ensure a level playing field for girls in sports, while opponents say it unfairly targets transgender athletes. 

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