Governor Holcomb vetoes bill targeting transgender athletes

By: Taylor Staples

Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoes a ban on transgender girls playing girls’ sports in school

HB 1041, authored by representative Michelle Davis and sponsored by 7 senators including Sen. Staccey Donato, Jean Leising, Jack Sandlin, and Dennis Kruse, would ban transgender girls from girls’ sports teams K-12 has officially been vetoed, making it so it doesn’t go into law.

The description of the bill on the Indiana General Assembly website says, “Participation in school sports. Requires, for purposes of interscholastic athletic events, school corporations, public schools, nonpublic schools, and certain athletic associations to expressly designate an athletic team or sport as one of the following: (1) A male, men’s, or boys’ team or sport. (2) A female, women’s, or girls’ team or sport. (3) A coeducational or mixed team or sport. Prohibits a male, based on the student’s biological sex at birth in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology, from participating on an athletic team or sport designated as being a female, women’s, or girls’ athletic team or sport. It also requires school corporations, public schools, certain nonpublic schools, and certain athletic associations to (1) establish and maintain grievance procedures; or (2) maintain grievance or protest procedures established before July 1, 2022; for a violation of these provisions.”

In a letter issued Monday, March 21, explaining the veto, Holcomb said the measure “falls short” of its intended goal of providing a clear and consistent state policy. And, he said, it’s a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist in Indiana.

“It implies that the goals of consistency and fairness in competitive female sports are not currently being met,” Holcomb wrote. “After a thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim even if I support the overall goal.”

The measure may still become law. Republican lawmakers have a supermajority in both chambers at the Statehouse, and only need a simple majority to override a veto.

Legislators could take action on the veto of House Bill 1041 as early as May when they’re scheduled to come back for a one-day special session to make technical corrections.

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