FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed Senate Bill 83, a bill that bans transgender girls from participating in girls' sports.
In the governor's veto message, he cited the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's current policies that would prevent an unfair advantage in women's sports.
"Transgender children deserve public officials' efforts to demonstrate that they are valued members of our communities through compassion, kindness and empathy, even if not understanding," said Gov. Beshear. "The KHSAA attempted to do that, but Senate Bill 83 prevents it."
READ THE GOVERNOR'S FULL RESPONSE BELOW:
Under the bill, schools would need to identify each sports team as either "boys," "girls" or "coed."
The bill says all students would be allowed to play on boys or coed teams. But girls' teams "shall not be open to members of the male sex."
The bill also says the Kentucky Board of Education, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, school districts, or schools will not be allowed to "entertain a complaint, open an investigation, or take any other adverse action" against schools for preventing transgender girls from playing on girls teams.
However, the bill would allow students "deprived of an athletic opportunity" or who suffer harm from transgender girls playing on girls teams to sue their school district.
The Kentucky legislature still has time to override any of Gov. Beshear's vetoes. They will be back in session next week.