Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards Vetoes Anti-Trans Sports Bill

by Wyatt Ronan

BATON ROUGE, LA — Today, on the final day of regular session, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed Senate Bill 156, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. The legislature would have to hold a veto session to override this veto.

Gov. Bel Edwards’ veto of this discriminatory bill will prevent further discrimination towards transgender children in Louisiana. SB 156 was nothing more than a politically motivated bill that seeks to dehumanize transgender children. By vetoing this bill, Gov. Bel Edwards reminded legislators that any attempts to discriminate against transgender children is intolerable and will be defeated.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

Louisiana was one of more than thirty states that have either considered or passed restrictions against transgender athletes. Seven states — Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia — have enacted anti-transgender legislation this session. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a “style and form” veto to similar legislation in her state before issuing two executive orders to similar effect.

States have now enacted more anti-LGBTQ laws this year than in the last three years combined. So far in 2021, more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been enacted into law and more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, more than 120 directly target transgender people and about half would, like SB 156, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.

The governor did the right thing for Louisiana and particularly transgender Louisianans by vetoing this cruel and discriminatory legislation and now it is up to the Legislature not to attempt to override this veto. Transgender children are children. They deserve the ability to play organized sports and be part of a team, without fear of discrimination or exclusion. Lawmakers should focus on protecting the people of Louisiana, not targeting transgender children.

Ryan Wilson, Human Rights Campaign Associate Regional Campaign Director

Contact Us

To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email press@hrc.org.