Wisconsin governor shoots down bill to keep boys off girls’ sports teams

Republicans do not currently have the votes to override the veto.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers participates in a June 2022 Pride Parade. (Aaron of L.A. Photography/Shutterstock)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill Tuesday barring biological men from competing in women’s sports just weeks after it passed the state Senate.

The bill was passed by the state Senate in March by a 20 to 11 vote and would require athletes to compete in sports categories in line with their biological sex. Evers had expressed displeasure with the legislation in the past and opted to veto the bill, arguing that it would only embolden “anti-LGBTQ harassment, bullying, and violence,” according to a press release.

“This type of legislation, and the harmful rhetoric beget by pursuing it, harms LGBTQ Wisconsinites’ and kids’ mental health, emboldens anti-LGBTQ harassment, bullying, and violence, and threatens the safety and dignity of LGBTQ Wisconsinites, especially our LGBTQ kids,” Evers said in the press release. “I will veto any bill that makes Wisconsin a less safe, less inclusive, and less welcoming place for LGBTQ people and kids, and I will continue to keep my promise of using every power available to me to defend them, protect their rights, and keep them safe.”

The bill was passed in October 2023 by the state Assembly in a package of bills that also banned men in women’s collegiate sports and barred a physician from performing a sex change surgery or administering puberty blockers to a minor or risk losing their license. Wisconsin Republicans moved the legislation forward despite Evers telling transgender advocates at a rally at the state capitol that he would veto any such legislation coming to his desk.

“Men have major physical advantages. They’re bigger, they’re stronger, they’re faster,” Republican state Rep. Joel Kitchens said during the bill’s testimony period in 2023, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Title IX was created so that women can have the same access to the same advantages, the same character building that takes place (in sports) that men always have experienced.”

Republicans do not currently have the votes to override the veto since they do not have a two-thirds majority in either legislative house.


Kate Anderson