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Louisiana Senate backs veto override on transgender sports ban

The bill has little practical value as there has been no reported instance of a transgender athlete participating on teams of their identified gender.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana lawmakers have up to five days to make their cases during this veto session, but they made quick work Tuesday of the two biggest bills up for debate. Meanwhile, there were some fireworks in the House chamber clashed with security.

Members of the Real Name Campaign, an advocacy group for transgender people, unfurled a banner in the House gallery Tuesday morning. They urged state lawmakers to keep Governor John Bel Edwards's veto of Senate Bill 156.

That bill, authored by state Sen. Beth Mizell, would ban transgender girls from playing school sports -- and it divided lawmakers.

"Quite frankly, members, I'm convinced this bill is a solution looking for a problem, and it is a political issue,” Sen. Jay Luneau (D-Alexandria) said.

Sen. Karen Carter-Peterson (D-New Orleans) warned it could hurt Louisiana and described it as a bill that could have a deep financial impact on New Orleans -- and the state.

“You either want business to come to Louisiana, or you want to discriminate. We're about to make a decision,” she said.

Ultimately the Senate voted 26-12 to override the governor's veto.

Senator Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton), who authored the bill, says it's one that constituents want.

"If you have not heard the voices of the large majority of people in this state by emails, by phone calls, by personal visits, there's no words I can give you,” Mizell said.

The debate now shifts to the House, where Republicans will need to pick up some backing from Democrats and independents to overturn the veto and enact the ban in law.

Meanwhile, they voted 23-15 to keep in place his veto on a bill that would've loosened restrictions on concealed carry laws.

The state House of Representatives will take up the trans youth sports bill Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Lawmakers also can try to override other measures among the 28 Edwards rejected. The veto session can last up to five days but lawmakers hope to wrap up by Saturday.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.