The Republican governor of Utah vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature banning transgender athletes after citing the financial impact and limited application of the bill.
Supporters of the legislation say that they have enough votes to override the governor’s veto.
Gov. Spencer Cox wrote in a letter to top legislators Tuesday that they failed “to understand the financial impacts that will be forced upon the Utah High School Athletic Association (UHSAA) and local Utah school districts that will inevitably get sued under this bill.”
Cox also criticized lawmakers for changing the bill from a proposal that would create a commission to decided inclusion of transgender athletes on a case-by-case basis.
Finally, he argued that the bill would only apply to less than a handful of cases in the state.
“Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about. Four kids who aren’t dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships. Four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something,” wrote Cox.
“Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few,” he added.
The Utah House speaker and Senate president said that they want to pass the law in order to ensure that biological girls aren’t edged out of sports, as some have suggested in other competitions.
Cox became the second Republican governor to veto such a bill in two days after Gov. Eric Holcomb did the same in Indiana on Monday. Holcomb argued that the legislation in his state was far too broad and that there was not a problem currently related to transgender athletes worth addressing.
Holcomb went on to say that protecting fairness in women’s sports was “a worthy cause for sure.”
Here’s more about the veto from Cox:
Cox vetoes transgender sports bill, legislature will override