The Indiana General Assembly has overridden Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of House Bill 1041. The bill was designed to prohibit male to female transgender students from participating in all-female sports. Similar bills have been passed across the country in states with enough conservatives to push it through.
The override passed the House 67-28 and the Senate 32-15. The bill will now become a law and go into effect July 1, 2022.
Proponents of the bill say that men have a biological advantage over females and this bill is a commonsense measure to ensure the integrity and fairness of women’s sports. Opponents of the bill say it is discriminatory against transgender students and will cause them psychological harm.
This bill, and others like it, were largely triggered by several high-profile situations on the national level. Most notably, University of Pennsylvania Swimmer Lia Thomas who success in NCAA women’s swimming made her the primary focal point for transgender sports discourse. Although she didn’t win every race, her success was much greater than it was when she was competing as a male.
Gov. Holcomb initially vetoed the bill in late March. His reasoning was the bill would invite a lawsuit and that Indiana did not have enough transgender athletes competing in girls sports to warrant legislation.
The governor did not have to wait long to see his prediction of a lawsuit come true. Mere minutes after the vote, the first lawsuit was filed. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is suing Indianapolis Public Schools. The case involves a 10-year-old transgender student who will now be prohibited from playing softball on the school’s girls softball team.
This is just the first of several expected lawsuits.