POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Transgender athlete ban sponsor says he did not pressure Governor to walk back veto

Mar 16, 2022, 7:15 PM

(Utah State Capitol.  Photo: Paul Nelson)...

(Utah State Capitol. Photo: Paul Nelson)

(Utah State Capitol. Photo: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — The state senator who proposed a transgender athlete ban on girls competing in high school girls sports in Utah maintains he did not pressure the Governor to change his mind about vetoing the bill, during a meeting between the two Tuesday.

“I didn’t try to pressure him at all,” Senator Dan McCay told KSL NewsRadio. “It was a conversation, background on the bill, those type of questions those types of thoughts, but it wasn’t really a pressure.” 

Meeting to discuss transgender athlete ban bill

Senator McCay said he called the meeting with the Governor to talk about the purpose of the bill. The version that passed the legislature bans transgender girls from competing in high school athletics in Utah.

McCay said the Governor took issue with McCay’s lack of communication over changing the bill in the final hours of the session, from a version that included a commission to evaluate trans-athletes, to a ban.

“I made some assumptions there and I wanted to make an -you know – an opportunity to kinda clear that up with the Governor,” McCay said.

It was McCay who ran that amendment to the bill.

“The only option that had an opportunity to get through the Senate was the bill we passed,” he said, explaining that both the Senate and House passed version that included the ban. “And I think that’s because a large portion of our constituents were asking for a bill with a ban in place.”

The Governor’s take

A spokesperson for the Governor’s office said of the meeting, “The Governor is always willing to listen.”

McCay said he left pretty certain the Governor will veto.

“And that’s unfortunate,” he said. “But I can understand.”

As for what’s next if the Governor does indeed veto?

“I think that with this bill there will be a different iteration of it. And it will be another opportunity for people to revisit their decision,” McCay said.

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Transgender athlete ban sponsor says he did not pressure Governor to walk back veto