Utah’s state legislature overrode a governor’s veto of a bill that would ban transgender youth from competing on girls’ teams on Friday.
Governor Spencer Cox (R-UT) vetoed the legislation on Tuesday because he “tried to do what I feel is the right thing regardless of the consequences.”
The Utah House voted 56-18 and the state Senate 21-8, giving the legislature the supermajority necessary to override Gov. Cox’s veto. Eight Utah legislators changed their initial votes and joined the supermajority.
The NBA’s Utah Jazz issued a statement against the legislature’s veto override. “The Utah Jazz oppose discriminatory legislation. We are committed to our values of inclusivity, mutual respect and fair play,” the statement said. “Beyond basketball, we hope for an equitable solution that shows love and compassion for all our youth.”
The NBA’s 2023 All-Star game is scheduled to occur in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February. However, the bill’s opponents were worried that Salt Lake City would face the same fate as North Carolina after the NBA moved the All-Star game from Charlotte after the state passed a bill ordering transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their gender assigned at birth.
Utah school districts were similarly worried about potential lawsuits from pro-transgender groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.
“We are deeply disappointed and saddened at today’s votes by the Utah Legislature to discriminate against transgender youth to exclude them from participating fully on sports teams,” the ACLU of Utah said. “Litigation to stop HB11 from taking effect is now both necessary and inevitable to ensure Constitutional promises of equal protection for all Utahns.”
However, to ease school districts from the fear of litigation, Utah’s legislature passed HB3001, a bill to indemnify school districts and the activities association from litigation stemming from the transgender sports bill.
Utah’s law will go into effect on July 1.