Utah's Cox vows to veto ban on transgenders in youth sports, against trend with most GOP governors

The Republican Gov.'s decision has surprised some of his supporters.

Updated: March 7, 2022 - 11:45am

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Utah GOP Gov. Spencer Cox is vowed to veto legislation that would ban biological males from women's sports.

House Bill 11, which passed Utah's state Senate on Friday after passing the House in February, would require that student athletes participate in sports based on the biological sex listed on their birth certificate.

Cox, who unlike many of his Republican colleagues, is opting to veto legislation that would keep biological males away from young women's sports teams.

"I just want them to know that it’s gonna be OK," he told the Associated Press about transgender students.

Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Thursday that bans transgender from competing in women's sport, amid the argument that biological males have an unfair advantage.

Cox's actions, which have left some puzzled, will likely make Utah the first state in 2022 to reject a ban bill.

Cox said he was surprised last week when, following the creation of a commission of experts in Utah to make decisions on individual transgender student athletes, the legislature passed an amended version of the bill that included an outright ban on transgender student-athletes competing on girls' teams. 

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