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Capitol Hill Politics

Trans sports ban veto set to be overridden by Indiana legislators

INDIANAPOLIS (Transatlantic Today) — The Republican-controlled Indiana Legislature is expected to override the governor’s veto of a legislation prohibiting transgender students from participating in girls’ sports on Tuesday, bringing Indiana into line with over a dozen other states that have passed similar legislation in the last 2 years. 

The Indiana legislation passed by huge numbers in both the Senate and the House before being vetoed by Republican Governor Eric Holcomb in March, claiming that it did not offer a uniform policy for “fairness in K-12 sports.” 

Critics of Indiana’s prohibition have claimed that it is a discriminatory approach to a non-existent problem. They claim there is little chance that enough members will change their votes to prevent the veto overturn, which only requires simple majority votes in the Senate and House. 

According to ABC NEWS, the bill’s Republican supporters argue that it is necessary to defend the integrity of female athletics and opportunities for females to obtain college athletic scholarships. However, no cases of trans athletes outperforming other girls have been documented in the state. 

Before the Legislature’s anticipated Tuesday afternoon voting, activists staged a Statehouse protest against the prohibition. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has announced that it will file a lawsuit against “hateful legislation” in the hopes of preventing it from going into effect on July 1 as planned. 

Holcomb’s veto comes a day after Republican Utah Governor Spencer Cox vetoed an identical ban, claiming that such measures target vulnerable youngsters already at danger of suicide. Days later, Utah’s Republican legislators overrode the veto, part of a surge of similar bills that political watchers describe as a typical “wedge issue” to mobilize conservative voters. 

Holcomb cited the Indiana High School Athletic Association in his veto letter, which has a guideline supporting transgender kids who wish to play sports that reflect their gender identification and has stated that no transgender girls have filed a request to participate on a female squad. Kids who identify as transgender males or females would be allowed to play on boys sports teams under the rule. 

In his veto letter, Holcomb stated that the legislation assumed there is an existing issue in Indiana K-12 sports that demands additional state government interference, but he found no evidence supporting that allegation.

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