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Wisconsin governor vetoes school sports restrictions for trans students By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers speaks with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum during a National Governors Association winter meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2024. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers vetoed a bill on Tuesday that would ban transgender and some intersex children from playing on sex-segregated school sports teams, saying that he has repeatedly warned he would veto any “anti-LGBTQ” legislation sent to his desk.

The bill, which was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature in late March, would have required all public schools and some private schools to designate sports teams as male, female or mixed, part of a wave of laws in recent years by Republican politicians across the U.S. to regulate transgender people’s conduct.

Only children designated male on their original birth certificate would be allowed to play on male teams, and only children designated female at birth would be allowed to play on female teams.

The bill would also let girls bring private lawsuits against a school that violates the bill’s terms, so long as they were designated female on their original birth certificate.

“States across this country may give way to radical policies targeting LGBTQ individuals and families and threatening LGBTQ folks’ everyday lives and their ability to be safe, valued, supported, and welcome being who they are,” Evers, a Democrat, said in a statement. “As long as I am the governor of this great state, Wisconsin will not be among them.”

The bill passed the state legislature’s two chambers along party lines, and neither chamber has the needed two-thirds majority vote to override a governor’s veto.

Representative Barbara Dittrich, a Republican who co-authored the bill, said the governor’s veto was a “misogynistic and hateful position towards actual females,” noting that the bill would allow transgender boys and girls to join schools’ mixed sports teams.

“While he and his ilk continue to gaslight our citizens that this legislation was about hate and exclusion, he ignores the fact that the legislation provides categories for every Wisconsin student while respecting and protecting the safety and merit of our state’s biological girls,” Dittrich said in a statement.

The International Olympic Committee, in its 2021 guidelines, says there must “no presumption of advantage” based on an athlete’s physical appearance or gender identity.

Some sports’ governing bodies have created policies that impose certain requirements before a transgender woman is able to compete in a women’s event; others have stated that transgender women are free to join women’s teams without any…

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