LGBTQ advocate groups respond to transgender bill veto

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By Kelsey Mae Nield and Carly Wasserlein

(File Footage, Twitter @ACLU, Governor Cox Youtube)

Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed a bill this week that would ban transgender athletes from competing in Utah middle and high school sports.

Cox expressed in a letter that this would target 4 specific kids who are looking for connection and community. He emphasized that these athletes are not dominating, winning or taking scholarships in their sports here in Utah.

State Legislative leaders quickly announced a meeting at 2 p.m. tomorrow, March 25 to potentially override the governor’s decision. The veto override will require support from two-thirds of both the Senate and the House.

Equality Utah, an LGBTQ advocacy group, expressed their support for Cox’s decision to veto the transgender athlete bill.

“Today, Utah’s governor placed children over politics. In an act of moral courage, Gov. Spencer Cox became the second Republican governor in the country to veto a total ban on transgender children participating in school sports,” Equality Utah said in a letter.

They also expressed in the letter they feel the legislature betrayed their trust. They plan to continually protect the legal rights of transgender children and will seek justice in court if the veto is overridden.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah said they are ready to sue if the legislature overturns the governor’s veto of the transgender athlete’s bill. The ACLU released a letter yesterday thanking Cox for protecting transgender students. It says the ACLU is open to a lawsuit and that the bill violates rights of due process and equal protection.

“The last thing these young people need are more speeches, headlines and bills proclaiming them to be threats instead of valued members of their communities,” the ACLU said.

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