Transgender sports ban bill wins Louisiana Senate backing

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — With no debate, Louisiana state senators Wednesday overwhelmingly agreed to bar transgender athletes from competing on girls’ sports teams in schools.

The Senate voted 29-6 for the bill from Sen. Beth Mizell, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican.

Four Democrats — Sens. Regina Barrow of Baton Rouge, Katrina Jackson of Monroe, Gary Smith of Norco and Greg Tarver of Shreveport — joined Republicans in supporting the legislation.

But the measure likely is headed to the same House Education Committee that rejected a similar proposal a day earlier.

Supporters of the proposals said they are trying to protect female athletes from unfair competition. Opponents call the measures discriminatory. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, opposes the bill and is expected to veto it if the proposal reaches his desk.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association already has taken a position that student athletes “shall compete in the gender of their birth certificate unless they have undergone sex reassignment.”

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The bill is filed as Senate Bill 156.

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