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Utah Gov. Spencer Cox vetoes transgender student sports ban

Gov. Spencer Cox delivering his 2022 State of the State address on Jan. 20, 2022.
Laura Seitz
Deseret News
Gov. Spencer Cox delivering his 2022 State of the State address on Jan. 20, 2022.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has officially vetoed a controversial bill meant to ban transgender girls from competing in girls’ high school sports. Legislative leaders have immediately announced that they are meeting soon to try and override his veto, believing there’s enough support for it in both the Utah House and Senate.

In a tweet made by Gov. Cox, it was explained that there were a few fundamental flaws with House Bill 11 that ultimately influenced his decision to veto the bill. He says that he believes in fairness and wants to protect the integrity of women’s sports. Cox’s decision to veto the bill came about two weeks after the session ended on March 4 where he promised a veto after a new version of the bill was introduced.

Releasing a five-page letter explaining his decision, Cox ultimately pointed out that last minute changes to the bill included “no public input,” and that there was a lack of financial protection should the bill face lawsuits.

Originally, the bill was sponsored by Rep. Kera Birkeland with the intent on creating a commission that would determine whether specific transgender students should be able to play in their identified genders sports. The bill was later altered by Sen. Dan McCay who introduced an all-out ban which created tension amongst lawmakers.

Following Cox’s veto of the bill on Tuesday, legislative leaders have announced that they will hold a veto override session in an attempt to restore the bill and have it pass. The meeting will take place on March 25.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.