Transgender girl athletics ban veto overridden, now law in Kentucky

Both the state House and Senate voted to override the Governor's veto on Wednesday

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – State lawmakers voted to override Governor Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 83 Wednesday, which bans transgender girls from participating in sports alongside their peers from sixth grade through college.

“We’re talking about twelve, thirteen year-old girls here in Kentucky who will be told that because they are transgender children, they will not be allowed to participate with their classmates,” said Senator Karen Burg (D) of Louisville.

Senate Bill 83 is one of a slew of bills that were vetoed by Governor Beshear and overridden by the state House and Senate Thursday.

While the bill prohibits athletes from playing sports in college, opponents to the bill say that the NCAA ultimately decides who gets to play sports once athletes reach the collegiate level.

University of Kentucky Riley Gaines spoke out in support of the bill.

“I’ve received, obviously, some backlash, calling me transphobic and things like that but I think the people saying these things are completely missing my point and my argument because I always want to be respectful of everyone, no matter who you are, and by no means am I saying that transgender athletes should not compete,” said Gaines, “that’s the opposite of what I’m saying. I’m saying they should, just not within female athletics.”

Last week, Governor Beshear issued the veto, saying there were concerns the bill might lead to lawsuits.

In the state Senate earlier on Wednesday, heated arguments ensued on the bill.

“Shame on you if you do that. Shame on you…the athlete wants a fair playing field. They don’t care about all this other stuff,” said Senator Donald Douglas (R) of Nicholasville.

The override was voted on 29-8 in the Senate and 72-23 in the House.

Since both the House and Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto, the transgender girl athletics ban is now law in Kentucky.

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