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An op-ed written by Connecticut high school athlete Chelsea Mitchell (center) was altered by USA Today.Alliance Defending Freedom

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, July 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Democratic lawmakers in Louisiana Wednesday blocked a veto override of a bipartisan sports bill that would have protected female athletes from having to compete against gender-confused males.  

The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 68-30 not to override Democratic Gov. John Bel Edward’s June veto of Senate Bill 156, leaving Republicans just two votes shy of enacting the bill, local news outlet BRProud reported. Louisiana’s Senate successfully overrode the governor’s veto on Tuesday. 

During the regular legislative session, Senate Bill 156, titled the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, garnered the support of ten Democrats in the House and passed in May with veto-proof margins. Three House Democrats signed on as co-sponsors.  

But virtually all Democrats in either chamber voted against the bill during this week’s veto session, with Rep. Francis C. Thompson casting the sole Democratic vote to revive it. Every  

Republican but two, Rep. Joe Stagni and Sen. Ronnie Johns, backed the override effort. 

GOP House Speaker Clay Schexnayder had promised an override, saying that he was “comfortable 100%” that enough Democrats would join Republicans, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported. The veto override would have been Louisiana’s first in three decades.  

“I’m incredibly disappointed,” said sponsor Sen. Beth Mizell, who plans to re-introduce the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act next year, according to the Advertiser. “I thought the House would hear the people of the state, but politics won out.”  

The failed vote on Wednesday followed a last-minute attack on Senate Bill 156 by left-wing religious “clergy.” An open letter signed by dozens of mostly Protestant figures called the bill “cruel” and attempted to use the Bible to promote “affirmation” of “trans children.”  

Three Catholic priests joined the letter, including: Fr. Richard R. Andrus, Jr, SVD M.Div of Lafayette, Rev. Robert Gnuse of New Orleans, and Fr. Mark Watson of Shreveport. Alison McCrary, apparently a member of a group of “nuns” called the Sisters for Christian Community, is featured in the letter, though women cannot be Catholic clergy.  

Gov. Edwards also claims to be Catholic, despite his support of pro-LGBT policies

Louisiana’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would have mandated that public school sports teams for women and girls “are not open to participation by biological males.”  

“Having separate sex-specific teams furthers efforts to promote sex equality,” the bill read. “Sex-specific teams accomplish this by providing opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their skill, strength, and athletic abilities,” in addition to providing opportunities for scholarships and accolades, it continued.  

Eight states, including Florida and Alabama, have enacted similar legislation this year, following dozens of reports of biological males taking championship titles and opportunities from female athletes across the U.S., which lawmakers and female athletes argue is unfair. 

As the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act notes, studies have demonstrated that gender-confused men retain inherent physical advantages over women, despite so-called “gender transition” practices. An article published in Sports Medicine this year found that males experience only “very modest changes” in muscle mass and strength after taking transgender hormone drugs for more than 12 months.  

Keeping anti-scientific transgender ideology out of sports is also broadly popular, with a recent Gallup poll finding that 62% of American adults believe teams should match biological sex, not “gender identity.”

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