ND House overrides veto of bill banning transgender athletes

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North Dakota’s House voted to override the governor’s veto on a bill that prevents transgender girls from playing public school sports.

The 68 to 25 vote pushes back against Gov. Doug Burgum, who said in a veto message Wednesday night that since there aren’t currently issues with transgender athletes in the state, the bill is unnecessary. He went on to say the bill injects the state into a local issue that is already properly dealt with by the High School Activities Association.

But representatives in favor feel differently, saying the bill guarantees fairness in girls sports.

“I believe that this bill is forward-looking. Yes, maybe indeed there have not been transgender athletes yet in North Dakota, that is true. But what the body is doing here is setting the guidelines to go forward that everybody understands what we’re looking at as we go forward for all of our schools and the students within our schools,” Rep. Robin Weisz said.

Since the House met the two-thirds vote threshold to override the veto, it’s up to the Senate now to decide whether to make it law. It will need four lawmakers to flip their views from the last vote, in order to pass. It previously passed the Senate 27 to 20.

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