Democratic governor threatens to block 'Fairness in Women’s Sports Act'
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is refusing to sign a state bill that would prohibit athletes from competing according to their gender identity.
The Act passed by a 115-84 vote with five Democrats supporting the legislation.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) is refusing to sign a state bill that would prohibit athletes from competing according to their gender identity.
“As states across the country push transphobic legislation, some Republicans in General Assembly are wasting time attempting the same in Pennsylvania,” Wolf tweeted on Apr. 12 in reference to House Bill 972, dubbed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.”
The Act had passed that day by a 115-84 vote with five Democrats supporting the legislation.
The second-term governor then made a definitive promise to his constituents, stating, “It won’t get past my desk.”
As states across the country push transphobic legislation, some Republicans in the General Assembly are wasting time attempting the same in Pennsylvania.
It won't get past my desk.
Let's enhance protections for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians instead. Send me the bipartisan Fairness Act. pic.twitter.com/Srj8JBsJwn
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) April 12, 2022]
The bill stipulates, “Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women or girls… may not be open to students of the male sex."
In addition to mandating gendered divisions, the bill’s “clause of action” permits students who are “deprived of opportunity” or “suffers a direct or indirect harm” to pursue legal action against the school or university.
[RELATED: 15 states push back against Biden's attempt to strip Title IX protections]
Wolf is not the first governor to take opposing action to stop a bill pushed through the legislature in its tracks. Similar executive action was also taken in Utah, Kentucky, and Kansas within the past month.
Legislators in both Utah and Kentucky overrode vetoes from governors on corresponding legislation.
The Utah House voted on Mar. 25 to override in a 56-18 vote, with the Senate voting 21-8.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 83 on April 6. However, legislators voted in both chambers to override the veto.
The House voted to override in a 29-8 vote, with the Senate surpassing the Governor's attempt with a 72-23 majority.
[RELATED: From Rhode Island to Utah, these state lawmakers are introducing legislation to keep men out of women's sports]
On Apr. 15, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed the state's proposed "Fairness in Women's Sports Act" on the grounds that it would be "divisive" as well as "bad for business."
Kelly vetoed a similar piece of legislation last year, making this the second time the Democratic governor has made such a stance on male athletes in women's divisions.
Campus Reform contacted Wolf for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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