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Spectators wearing 'Save Women's Sports' stickers talk in the Senate just before before the Senate voted successfully Tuesday to override Gov. John Bel Edwards' veto of Senate Bill 156, by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, banning transgender women and girls from competing in women's and girl's sports. The House rejected the veto override.

We have an opportunity to expand the successes of the women’s rights movement and Title IX: We must override the governor’s veto, that allows transgender males to compete in women’s sports.

The act protects female athletes by ensuring they are not forced to compete against males. Nationwide, increasing numbers of men compete on female sports teams, resulting in unfair competition for women and girls.

In his statement announcing the veto, Gov. John Bel Edwards asserted “discrimination is not a Louisiana value” — and he’s right. However, vetoing this legislation signaled his support for discrimination.

In Connecticut, two male athletes who competed on a women’s high school track and field team dominated their female competition. After two years, they captured 15 women’s titles once held by nine girls.

Governor, how is this not discrimination?

Common sense and science tell us that males are stronger and faster than comparably fit and trained females. Women need athletic teams based on biological sex to excel in sports. When we deny biological reality, we return to pre-Title IX conditions, when women faced discrimination and unequal opportunities in athletics.

The Fairness Act passed both chambers with overwhelming majorities that included Democrats and Republicans. Fifty legislators are coauthors. Yet the governor vetoed this legislation, jeopardizing needed protection in favor of partisan politics and corporate interests.

In his veto statement, the governor acknowledged the NCAA’s threat to pull events from states with this legislation. Instead of standing for our women and girls, he bowed to the NCAA, even though it has not followed through on this threat.

Eight states have passed similar legislation, and Louisiana should be the ninth.

We cannot let another sports season go by without this vital legislation.

BETH MIZELL

state senator

Franklinton

Our Views: Veto of discriminatory ban on transgender athletes should stand