Indiana Lawmakers Override Governor’s Veto Of Trans Sports Ban

The law is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

The Indiana legislature has voted to overturn the governor’s veto of a bill that bans trans women and girls from playing on scholastic sports teams in accordance with their gender identities. 

In March, Governor Eric Holcomb, a Republican, vetoed House Bill 1041, which mandated that schools base participation on athletic teams “on a student’s biological sex at birth.” In a letter following the veto, Governor Holcomb stated that the bill lacked consistency in its statewide applications, and could leave the state vulnerable to lawsuits. 

He also found that there was no evidence to support claims “that there is an existing problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires further state government intervention.” 

Lawmakers in both chambers of the state legislature voted to override the veto on Tuesday. Members of the House voted 67 to 28 in favor of the override, while members of the Senate approved the measure by a vote of 32 to 15. 

The law is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

Following Tuesday’s vote, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana immediately filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10-year-old transgender softball player. In a press release posted on the organization’s website, legal director Ken Falk stated that “the misinformation about biology and gender” as understood in the bill “amounts to the same form of sex discrimination that has long been prohibited under Title IX, a law that protects all students – including trans people – on the basis of sex.” 

The ban is one of many enacted against trans athletes in states across the country. Proponents of such legislation argue that it’s necessary to protect the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports. Opponents allege that such legislation is discriminatory, and that little to no evidence exists to suggest that trans women and girls are detrimental to the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports. 

States that have passed such bans have been vulnerable to legal action. A judge last year temporarily blocked a similar law from going into effect in West Virginia while it is being challenged in the court system. 

An Idaho judge blocked a similar trans sports ban from taking effect in 2020.

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