Wisconsin Governor has vetoed a bill that would have limited participation in female athletics in the Badger State to women and girls.

Gov. Evers vetoed the “Save Girls Sports” legislation (AB 377) on Tuesday Apr. 2. The bill would have required public schools, charter schools and certain private schools operating “interscholastic, intramural, or club athletic team[s] or sport[s] to designate the athletic team or sport as falling into one of three categories based on the sex of the participating pupils”:

  1. Males;
  2. Females;
  3. Males and females.

The bill would have “define[d] ‘sex’ as the sex determined at birth by a physician and reflected on the birth certificate” and required “educational institution[s] to prohibit a male pupil from participating on an athletic team or in an athletic sport designated for females.”

AB 377 easily passed through the Wisconsin state legislature prior to Gov. Evers’ veto. The Wisconsin House passed the bill in a 63-35 vote on Oct. 12, 2023. The Wisconsin Senate subsequently approved the bill on Mar. 12, 2024, by a 21-11 margin.

Unfortunately, it does not appear that the Wisconsin legislature has enough votes to override Gov. Evers’ veto on AB 377.

In vetoing the bill, Gov. Evers alleged that AB 377 “target[s] transgender and gender nonconforming youth” and “bans them from participating on school athletic teams that align with their gender identity.”

“This type of legislation, and the harmful rhetoric beget by pursuing it, harms LGBTQ Wisconsinites’ and kids’ mental health, emboldens anti-LGBTQ harassment, bullying, and violence, and threatens the safety and dignity of LGBTQ Wisconsinites, especially our LGBTQ kids,” Gov. Evers said in his veto message.

“I will veto any bill that makes Wisconsin a less safe, less inclusive, and less welcoming place for LGBTQ people and kids, and I will continue to keep my promise of using every power available to me to defend them, protect their rights, and keep them safe.”

Gov Evers’ did not explain how AB 377 – a bill designed to protect female athletes – emboldens harassment, bullying and violence. And that’s because AB 377 doesn’t do such things. The bill only prevents men from participating in girls and women’s sports.

Contrary to Gov. Evers’ assertion, there are no examples of men who claim to be women being physically harmed by “Save Girls Sports” bills. However, there are numerous examples of women being harmed by male athletes participating in sports, instances of which you can read about here.

So far, at least 22 states have passed legislation protecting women from men participating in their sports, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia.

Photo Credit: Family Policy Alliance


Every female athlete deserves to be able to compete against other female athletes, without being forced to compete – and be physically harmed – by male athletes. We will continue working until that right is realized for every girl in America.

Consider getting involved with your state’s family policy council to enact positive change and help protect women’s sports.

Focus on the Family exists to help families, and that includes help navigating the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism. Focus offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.


Related articles and resources:

Where Are the Dads Protecting Their Daughters From Dangerous Male Athletes?

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

Transgender Resources

Addressing Gender Identity with Honesty and Compassion

The Journey Back to My True Identity

What is ‘Gender Identity’


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