Louisiana State Legislature Sends Anti-Trans Sports Bill to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Desk

by Wyatt Ronan

BATON ROUGE, LA — Today, the Louisiana state legislature sent Senate Bill 156, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity, to Governor John Bel Edwards. Edwards has previously said that he opposes the measure and plans to veto it.

Louisiana is one of more than thirty states that have either considered or passed restrictions against transgender athletes. Six states — Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia — have enacted anti-transgender legislation this session.

There are so far more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, more than half directly target transgender people and more than 70 would, like SB 156, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.

2021 has officially surpassed 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history. So far in 2021, twenty-three anti-LGBTQ bills have been enacted into law. States have now enacted more anti-LGBTQ laws this year than in the last three years combined.

The advancement of this discriminatory bill is shameful and sends a harmful message to LGBTQ youth. Tragically, this bill is just the latest in a wave of attacks on trans and non-binary people in Louisiana and across the nation. Legislators and supporters who say it is about a level playing field cannot even provide an example of one incident where this issue has even occurred. I hope Gov. John Bel Edwards keeps his word and vetoes this terrible legislation.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

This bill is nothing but another attempt to discriminate against the LGBTQ community and a step back for the entire state. Make no mistake: transgender children have been playing sports consistent with their gender identity for years. Numerous times — lawmakers have been asked to name specific instances or examples that would necessitate these types of bills. And numerous times — they have come up with nothing. With all the problems that need to be solved across the state, there is no reason for legislators to be focused on making trans youth’s lives harder. We strongly urge Gov. John Bel Edwards to do the right thing and veto this discriminatory bill.

Ryan Wilson, Human Rights Campaign Associate Regional Campaign Director

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