Indiana lawmakers set to override veto of trans sports ban

The Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature is set Tuesday to overturn the Republican governor’s veto of a bill banning transgender students from competing in women’s sports.

INDIANAPOLIS – Republican-dominated Indiana legislature is set to prepare on Tuesday to overturn the Republican governor’s veto of a bill banning transgender students from competing in women’s sports, which would mean Indiana would join more of a dozen states that have passed similar laws in the past. two years.

Indiana’s proposal was approved by a wide margin in both the House and Senate before Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb unexpectedly vetoed the measure in March, saying it did not provide a coherent policy for what he called “equity in K-12 sports “.

Opponents of the Indiana ban have argued that the bill is a fanatical response to a problem that does not exist. They say they have little hope that enough lawmakers will change their votes to block the lifting of the veto, which only needs simple majorities in the House and Senate.

Republican sponsors of the bill argue that it is necessary to protect the integrity of women’s sports and the opportunities for girls to get a college sports scholarship, but did not point to any case in the status of transgender athletes outperforming others. girls.

Activists planned a Statehouse rally against the ban ahead of the vote scheduled by the Legislature for Tuesday afternoon. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has said it intends to file a lawsuit against what it called “hateful legislation” in hopes of preventing it from coming into force as planned on July 1.

Holcomb’s veto came a day before Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed a similar ban because the laws target vulnerable children who are already at high risk for suicide. Utah Republican lawmakers overturned the veto days later amid a wave of such laws that political observers describe as a classic “wedge problem” to motivate Conservative supporters.

In his veto letter, Holcomb noted the Indiana High School Athletic Association, which has a policy that covers transgender students who want to play sports that match their gender identity and has said no transgender girl has finished a single · Ability to play in a women’s team. The law would not prevent students who identify as transgender women or men from playing on boys’ sports teams.

Holcomb said in a veto that the bill was “a problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires additional state government intervention,” but found no evidence to support it. statement “although I support the effort in general.”


Associate Press Writer Tom Davies contributed to this report.


Casey Smith is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national non-profit service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover up. Follow Smith on Twitter.

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