Montana governor signs bill targeting transgender athletes

National News

FILE – In this Feb. 10, 2021 file photo Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte speaks with the press in the State Capitol in Helena, Mont. Montana’s statewide mask mandate has been lifted by Gianforte. The Republican governor said Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 he made the decision because he thinks enough vulnerable Montana residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed a bill banning transgender athletes from participating in school and university sports according to the gender with which they identify.

Montana is the latest of several Republican-controlled states to approve such measures this year.

Supporters of the bill have said it will ensure the playing field in girls’ sports remains fair.

Opponents say it further harms already marginalized transgender youth.

Lawmakers in more than 20 states have considered such bans, and they’ve become law in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Idaho’s law was blocked by a court ruling last year.

In late April, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum vetoed a similar bill. The legislature almost overrode the veto but was four votes shy in the Senate.

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