- The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Voting strictly on party lines, the Republican-dominated Louisiana state senate Tuesday overrode the governor’s veto of a bill that would prohibit biological men from playing women’s sports, but fell short of the votes needed to pass a concealed carry gun law overhaul.

The override session was the first called by the state legislature since the current constitution was adopted in 1974, and both bills were among 28 vetoed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, the lone Democratic governor in the Deep South.

Mr. Edwards, calling himself a Second Amendment supporter and a hunter, vetoed a bill that would allow gun owners over 21 to carry concealed weapons without need of a permit. Similar legislation, which supporters say codifies already enshrined rights, has passed in several other states recently and is the law in states neighboring Louisiana.

While the bill had passed both legislative chambers with veto-proof majorities, Republicans in the state Senate could muster just 23 votes, three short of the two-thirds margin needed to override Mr. Edwards‘ veto. When the unprecedented override session began Tuesday, the GOP Senate majority stood at 26 because one member, citing health reasons, is skipping the session that must conclude by Saturday.

But Republicans did get enough votes to override Mr. Edwards‘ veto of a bill that prohibits athletes from competing in sports that do not correspond with their biological gender. Opponents of the law said it could cost Louisiana money in terms of hosting major sporting events, such as NCAA basketball or baseball tournaments.

The session began with the ejection from the Baton Rouge capitol of a noisy group of opponents to the ban, who unfurled a “Protect Trans Youth” banner.

That bill now goes to the House.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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