The transgender high school athletics ban in Wisconsin has been vetoed by the governor.  

Washington, DC  – On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature passed a law prohibiting high school transgender athletes from participating on teams that correspond to their gender identity; however, Governor Tony Evers vetoed the measure.

From its introduction, Evers had pledged to veto the bill. The Democrats in the legislature lacked the necessary votes to prevent its passing. In the presence of Democratic legislators, transgender rights activists, the mayor of Madison, and others, he exercised his veto at the Capitol.

To overcome the veto, Republicans need more votes than they currently have. For Evers, this measure "harms LGBTQ Wisconsinites' and kids' mental health, emboldens anti-LGBTQ harassment, bullying, and violence, and threatens the safety and dignity of LGBTQ Wisconsinites, especially our LGBTQ kids." This is according to his veto message.

"Radial 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" are something that Evers has sworn to oppose while he is governor. The bill's Republican sponsor, Rep. Barb Dittrich, criticized Evers' veto, calling it "disgusting" and accusing him of holding a "misogynistic and hateful position towards actual females."

His veto today clearly demonstrates his disrespect for women and girls as well as for protecting their hard-fought achievements," Dittrich said in a statement. High school athletes would be required by the measure to compete on teams comprised entirely of players of the same biological gender.

According to the Republicans who supported the measure, it was all about being fair to athletes who do not identify as transgender. Opponents of the measure, however, contended that transgender high school athletes in Wisconsin do not pose any significant threat and that the proposed ban would be detrimental to these young people because it was discriminatory.

Transgender students in Wisconsin must get hormone therapy approved by the WI Interscholastic Athletic Association before they can participate on any team they want. The rules that the organization has put in place for transgender athletes are based on those that the NCAA has set.

Despite numerous setbacks and objections, a plan by the Biden administration to outlaw transgender athletes competing on K-12 and college sports teams throughout the country is expected to be implemented this year. Currently, at least 20 states have passed some kind of such a ban. The proposed rule would make it clear that all-inclusive prohibitions are in violation of Title IX, the historic gender equality law passed in 1972.

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