Democrat Governor Facing Backlash After Rejecting GOP Bill

( – Transgender activists scored a win recently in the state of Wisconsin after its governor, Tony Evers, vetoed a GOP-sponsored bill that would ban trans athletes from competing in sports events that do not align with the sex they were born with.

Evers, who is a Democrat, reasoned that he vetoed the measure, Assembly Bill 377, because it did not “comport with our Wisconsin values.” The bill had passed muster in the state legislature, which is controlled by Republicans, and only needed the governor’s signature to become law. AB 377 garnered a 63 to 35 win in the state assembly last October, followed by a 21 to 11 victory in the state senate. Wisconsin law allows vetoes to be overridden, but neither state assembly or senate has the required two-thirds majority needed to do so. Wisconsin Republicans had hoped to become the 25th state to impose bans on transgender athletes from competing in divisions based on their gender identity.

The bill’s premise was simple – that schools in Wisconsin, both private and public, would be required to assign student athletes participation in interscholastic, intramural and club sports based on their sex at birth, and not their preferred gender identity.

Still, the Wisconsin governor also described the measure as “hateful and discriminatory” and in a letter sent to state lawmakers explaining his decision, Evers said that he objected to “codifying discrimination into state statute.” He also said that the bill conflicted with federal law, as it essentially constitutes sexual discrimination.

The governor had repeatedly committed to vetoing the measure even as it moved through the state legislative processes. Evers also called on Republican lawmakers to practice “kindness, respect, empathy, and compassion.”

GOP lawmakers who pushed for the passage of the measure defended it by saying that their sole intent was to keep a level playing field in women’s sports.

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