On Tuesday, another Republican governor vetoed a popular bill passed by the state legislature that would have prohibited so-called “transgender” athletes from competing on sports teams of the opposite gender.
As reported by Axios, Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R-Utah) justified his veto by saying that “rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few.”
“I struggle to understand so much of it and the science is conflicting,” Cox continued in his letter to the state legislature. “When in doubt however, I always try to err on the side of kindness, mercy and compassion.” He claimed that the bill, HB 11, has “several fundamental flaws and should be reconsidered.”
Cox further defended his decision by pointing out that there are currently only four transgender athletes competing on sports teams in Utah at the high school level, with one of them playing on a girls’ team.
“Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about,” he continued. “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. Four kids trying to get through each day.”
Cox is the second Republican governor in as many days to veto legislation that would crack down on the unfair participation of transgender athletes on teams of the other gender. On Tuesday, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R-Ind.) vetoed a similar bill, claiming that current state policy already effectively prohibits such individuals from participating in sports teams of the wrong gender.
In both cases, the state legislatures could still potentially override the governors’ vetoes and pass the bills into law.