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Pennsylvania Gov. Vetoes Bill Banning Transgender Athletes From Women’s Sports

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Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports, according to Fox News.

“The Protect Women’s Sports Act” was vetoed by Wolf on July 8th, but Republicans in the Keystone state have recently begun to slam the Gov. for his decision, Fox News reported. The bill was passed by both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature with the intention “to protect opportunities for women and girls in athletics by ensuring women are not forced to compete against biological males playing on women’s sports teams,” according to a statement made last February.

“This was a bipartisan bill, and you can see the vote totals as proof,” Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Barbara Gleim who authored and sponsored the bill told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is a Gov who has done his own will [and not the will of the people and their elected representatives].”

Four Democrats in the House voted for the bill, according to the official roll call vote.

Wolf declared that the bill was “discriminatory” towards members of the transgender community who wish to play on female sports teams in his letter to the legislature.

“We knew all along that he did not support women and Title IX,” Gleim told the DCNF. “I will be reintroducing this legislation to uphold Title IX for women’s sports.”

Wolf’s veto has garnered attention on the national level, with Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey speaking out against the decision, according to Fox News. Toomey echoed the sentiments of other Republicans who argue that this move disproportionately affects women.

The view among female athletes seems to be mixed, but seven out of 10 Americans oppose the idea of transgender women competing on female sports teams, according to polling conducted by The Washington Post.

“I think it’s a good idea in theory and that it is a step in the right direction of inclusion of the trans community,” Catherine Holtz, a volleyball player at Gettysburg College, told the DCNF. “But playing against non-cis women gives them an unfair advantage cause biologically men’s bodies are stronger and generally more athletic than biological women.”

The debate over the acceptance of transgender athletes participating in competitive sports has been ongoing for months, since swimmer Lia Thomas gained national prevalence for her performance in women’s swimming, the Caller reported back in June.

Gov. Wolf’s office did not respond to a request for comment by the DCNF.

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