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Indiana's Republican governor vetoes transgender girls sports ban

governor eric holcomb
Posted at 8:19 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 20:20:57-04

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WRTV) — The Republican governor of Indiana vetoed a bill that would have banned transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams.

House Bill 1041 would have prohibited transgender girls from participating on sports teams at K-12 public schools designated for girls. It also would have established a civil action for violations and schools wouldn't be subject to civil, administrative, disciplinary or criminal liability for complying with it.

In a letter to Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston, Gov. Eric Holcomb said the bill falls short in providing clarity and fairness in K-12 sports in Indiana.

"The wide-open nature of the grievance provisions in HEA 1041 that apply to all K-12 schools in Indiana makes it unclear about how consistency and fairness will be maintained for parents and students across different counties and school districts," Holcomb wrote in the letter. "The presumption of the policy laid out in HEA 1041 is that there is an existing problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires further state government intervention. It implies that the goals of consistency and fairness in competitive female sports are not currently being met. After thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim even if I support the overall goal."

Several rallies were held at the statehouse throughout the legislative session to oppose the bill. Groups such as the ACLU and The Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Indiana AAP) both shared their opposition with lawmakers.

The bill's author, Republican state Rep. Michelle Davis, said she wanted to protect fair competition for females.

"I want to make sure that all the opportunities are provided for our young females and we protect the fair competition for them so they have all those possibilities," Davis said when the bill was going through the statehouse.

After the veto, the Indiana AAP said they are "thankful to Governor Holcomb for choosing to protect the health and well-being of all children in Indiana by vetoing HB 1041.”

This story was originally reported by Michelle Kaufman on wrtv.com.