(Editor's note: This letter from state Rep. Rick Edmonds, Republican of Baton Rouge, addresses Gov. Edwards' recent veto of state Sen. Beth Mizell's legislation that was designed to prevent high school, junior high school, and elementary school female athletes from competing against transgender male athletes.)
By Rick Edmonds
Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed Senate Bill 156 authored by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, during the 2021 regular session. The bill, known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, sought to prevent the injustice of allowing transgender male athletes to take part in sports designated for girls and women at elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools.
While other governors, legislators, and members of Congress are taking the lead on protecting and supporting the women of this nation, our Governor can only say that this bill is a “solution in search of a problem.”
Edwards must be in denial of national news, as Laurel Hubbard has recently become the first transgender athlete allowed to compete in the Olympics. I am sure that many of our outstanding Louisiana female athletes will take into consideration that a lifelong commitment to their sport of choice may not be enough if this type of judgment is to prevail throughout our country.
On an equally disturbing level, I would like to remind the people of Louisiana that on the 2015 election trail, then-Rep. Edwards spoke to people around the state and promised his support of conservative social and family issues. Well, as Governor, Edwards has failed to live up to his word. He has departed from his commitment to protect our daughters and granddaughters.
I am calling on my legislative colleagues to join me in calling a veto override session regarding this issue and more. There are times to be silent; however, this is not one of them. The time to stand together and protect our most valued treasures — our children — is now.