A law that would have protected women’s sports was reportedly vetoed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Wednesday.
Men would not be allowed to participate in women’s sports in middle schools, high schools, or colleges under HB 574, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Two Democrats in the state legislature, Rep. Michael Wray in the House and Sen. Val Applewhite in the Senate, voted in favor of passing the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.
The measure would be applicable to all public schools as well as any private school that competes with public schools if Cooper’s veto were overruled.
“We don’t need politicians inflaming their political culture wars by making broad, uninformed decisions about an extremely small number of vulnerable children that are already handled by a robust system that relies on parents, schools and sports organizations. Republican governors in other states have vetoed similar bills because they hurt their states’ reputation and economy and because they are neither fair nor needed.” Cooper stated.
According to Applewhite, her vote was “a tough decision to make” and was influenced by discussions with coaches and other district residents.
One sporting official reportedly informed the Democrat that differences in strength between males and girls can begin as early as age seven.
The Fayetteville Observer claims that Applewhite got “threats” as a result of her vote.
Wray declined to answer questions from The News & Observer about his reasons for backing the legislation.
HB 808, which would have prohibited children from receiving sex change therapies, and SB 49, known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” were also vetoed by Cooper.
In contrast to the women’s sports law, neither of these two proposals had any Democratic backing.
Due in part to Rep. Tricia Cotham, who moved from the Democratic to the Republican party in April and supported all three measures, Cooper’s vetoes of HB 574 and HB 808 are likely to be overcome by the North Carolina General Assembly.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights, on the other hand, has a less assured future since Rep. Hugh Blackwell, a Republican, abstained, leaving Republicans needing one more vote to override the governor’s veto.