Wisconsin governor vetoes bill safeguarding female sports, says it 'threatens' LGBTQ safety

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed a GOP-backed bill aimed at safeguarding female sports.

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed a GOP-backed bill aimed at safeguarding female sports.

In early April, Evers vetoed the bill, which aimed to ban transgender athletes from participating in female school sports. 

“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 Tuesday.

The bill sought to ensure that only females could compete in women’s sports at Wisconsin’s educational institutions, mirroring similar measures in other states. In recent years, female athletes in Wisconsin schools have faced various challenges, including a “transgender” identifying athlete participating in a Green Bay Area Public School District girls team. 

[RELATED: College athletic association bans transgender athletes from women’s sports]

Across the nation, female athletes in higher education have encountered obstacles to fair competition, with concerns mounting over the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports. 

Juniper Eastwood, a male cross-country runner, competed in the male division his entire life until deciding to join the women’s team at the University of Montana, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Even prior to Juniper Eastwood switching to the women’s team, CeCe Tefler, track and field male athlete, competed on the Franklin Pierce University’s men’s team before joining the women’s team. CeCe went on to win an NCAA Division II National Championship in the women’s category.  

[RELATED: New Hampshire House passes bill to protect women’s sports]

This year alone, there have been many female athletes in higher education who have been displaced, forced to compete against a man, and unfairly disadvantaged, including Sadie Schreiner, male athlete at the Rochester Institute of Technology, who set the women’s 200m and 400m school record.