Utah governor Spencer Cox announced that he would be vetoing the state’s horrific anti-trans sports ban.
Under the proposed legislation, transgender girls would be banned from competing in school sports that align with their gender identity.
The last-minute addition was debated for an hour but was ultimately passed by the Senate with a 16-13 vote. It then headed to House lawmakers, who immediately passed the proposal with a vote of 46-29.
The harmful bill proved to be controversial during its deliberation, which saw an array of Republican lawmakers voting against the legislation.
Since the bill passed through the Senate and the House, it’s now headed to the desk of Cox.
But fortunately, the governor recently revealed that he has no intentions of signing the bill into law.
In a press conference after the legislative session, Cox said he was “shocked” by the revised version of the bill.
Initially, the proposed legislation required transgender athletes to meet before a state-selected committee to determine their participation eligibility.
It was then revised by Sen. Dan McCay, who inserted the complete ban of transgender girls playing in school sports that align with their gender.
“I was as stunned as most members of the Senate were,” Cox said. “Some of the worst decisions get made at the last minute.”
The governor also gave his support for the trans community, stating: “It’s going to be OK. We’re going to work through this. We’re going to find a good path, and there are a lot of people that really love and care about them.”
In an additional interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, Cox said he doesn’t want to make “things harder” for transgender youth.
“Anyone that’s interacted with the transgender community understands how amazing they are and how difficult it can be for them,” he said. “I don’t want to make things harder for them than they have to be.”
After Cox’s veto announcement, LGBTQ+ activists praised the governor for his allyship.
Equality Utah tweeted that they were “in tears” before thanking the governor and the lawmakers who voted against the “insidious ban.”
Human Rights Campaign state legislative director Cathryn Oakley also thanked Cox in a statement.
“As the first governor this year pledging to veto anti-trans legislation sent to his desk for signature, Gov. Cox deserves praise for standing up to those who continue to target and attack transgender youth,” she said.
Even though Cox’s veto will effectively throw out the transphobic bill, lawmakers could potentially override his decision with a two-thirds majority vote.
However, the chances of that happening are unlikely due to a few Republicans openly opposing the law – according to a report from USA Today.
LIVE UPDATE: Governor Cox promises to veto HB11! Thank you Governor for protecting transgender children! With your veto, HB 11 is dead. We are in tears. Thank you to every lawmaker, Democrat and Republican who voted against this insidious ban. #utpol #utleg #transrights #lgbtq
— Equality Utah (@EqualityUtah) March 5, 2022