Home Career The Indiana Legislature prohibits transgender girls from playing women’s sports

The Indiana Legislature prohibits transgender girls from playing women’s sports

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Indiana lawmakers voted Tuesday to repeal Gov. Eric Holcomb and banned transgender girls from competing in K-12 girls.

A Republican majority in both houses of the Indiana Legislature voted to repeal Holcomb’s March veto on House Registration Act 1041, despite Holcomb, a Republican objection, that a lack of details in the law leaves schools open for trial.

Immediately after the vote, the Indiana ACLU announced it had filed a lawsuit challenging the new law on behalf of a 10-year-old transgender girl in Indianapolis public schools who plays on a girls softball team.

Attorney General Todd Rokita openly supported the law and promised to defend it.

The veto was overcome mostly along party lines, 67-28 in the House of Representatives and 32-15 in the Senate, at a special session explicitly called to do so.

HEA 1041 only affects transgender people and youth sports. This does not prevent transgender boys from playing in boys ’sports teams, nor does it affect sports college.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association has previously questioned the need for the bill, citing an existing procedure for transgender-student-athletes to play on a team. For 10 years the association was only one case the transgender girl was asked to play in the women’s team, and the student dropped the case.

“We are looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist,” said Sen. Lonnie Randolph (East Chicago).

But Republican lawmakers have said the law is needed – whether it affects one case or 100 – to maintain girls’ access to athletics and scholarships.

“The purpose of this bill is to maintain fair competition in women’s sports now and in the future,” said spokeswoman Michelle Davis (R-Greenwood), author of the law. “Today, your vote will give a clear message that Indiana will defend the integrity of women’s sport.”

It requires schools to identify all teams as male, female, or co-educational, and creates a grievance procedure for students and parents. If the school allows a transgender girl to participate in a women’s team, the law will allow other students to sue the district for being “deprived of athletic ability”.

In a lengthy statement, explaining his March veto, Holcomb said the “broadly open” nature of the grievance process would create confusion and inconsistency in schools across the state. He cited lawsuits over similar laws in other states that have already repealed equal protection laws.

Republican governors in other states have vetoed similar bills, including in Utah and North Dakota. In these cases, state legislatures also lifted the veto.

On Tuesday, Democratic senators vehemently opposed the bill, while the Indiana State ACLU held a rally in the state building before the vote.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that we’re here today to just double the hatred and discrimination,” said Sen. Shelley Yoder (D. Bloomington), asking the legislature to work instead to suspend the gas tax or propose solutions. to the childcare crisis.

“Instead, we spend our time making children feel bad.”

HEA 1041 comes into force on July 1st.

Alexandra Appleton covers Indiana education policy and writes about K-12 schools across the state. Contact her at aappleton@chalkbeat.org.

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