Utah’s Republican Governor Vows To Veto Bill Protecting Women’s Sports

His veto will likely make Utah the first state in 2022 to reject such a bill.
Chad Hurst/Getty Images

Utah’s Republican governor has vowed to veto legislation banning biological males from women’s sports.

House Bill 11 would require that student athletes participate in sports based on the biological sex listed on their birth certificate. The legislation passed the state Senate on Friday after passing the state legislature in February.

“I just want them to know that it’s gonna be okay,” Utah Governor Spencer Cox said Friday of transgender students when he vowed to veto the bill, the Associated Press reported. “We’re gonna work through this.”

Cox did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Wire.

Cox is one of only a few Republican governors to veto similar legislation — in April 2021, Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill banning transgender surgeries and procedures for minors (though the state overrode his veto and passed the bill) and Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem drew heavy criticism from conservatives in March 2021 for failing to certify a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.

Noem signed a different bill in February mandating that educational institutions assign students to teams based on biological sex.

The governor, who has strongly pushed back on criticism of her actions, told The Daily Signal in February that the original bill was “deeply flawed” and would have ended up in court.

Cox’s veto will likely make Utah the first state in 2022 to reject a bill banning biological males from women’s sports, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Eleven other states have recently enacted such legislation — Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed Iowa’s ban on Thursday.

Leftist advocacy groups and activists were quick to praise Cox’s promise of a veto.

“As the first governor this year pledging to veto anti-trans legislation sent to his desk for signature, Gov. Cox deserves praise for standing up to those who continue to target and attack transgender youth,” said Cathryn Oakley, Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel.

“Transgender kids are kids, and they do not deserve to be the targets of dehumanizing attacks that invalidate their identity,” Oakley continued. “Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and learn important life skills like sportsmanship, teamwork, and healthy competition through athletic participation.”

But conservatives criticized the governor and accused him of failing to protect the integrity of women’s sports.

“@GovCox is a total disaster,” tweeted American Principles Project president Terry Schilling. “Weak, dumb, and pathetic.”

“Republican Governor Spencer Cox can’t even conserve the girls’ locker room,” tweeted The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles.

At least 29 states in the U.S. have made moves to craft or pass legislation banning biological males from women’s sports, according to data compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Other Republican-backed legislation bans minors from obtaining transgender surgeries and hormones — medical interventions that advocates and many in the legacy media frame as “gender-affirming medical care.”

During the State of the Union address Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to enact the radically progressive Equality Act, criticizing the “onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families.”

“As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back as your president so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential,” Biden added.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Utah’s Republican Governor Vows To Veto Bill Protecting Women’s Sports