INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Republicans are planning to override Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a bill that bans transgender girls from playing girls school sports.
“This issue continues to be in the national spotlight and for good reason as women have worked hard for equal opportunities on the playing field – and that’s exactly what they deserve,” House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said in a statement Tuesday.
A veto override in Indiana requires a simple majority in the House and Senate. Republicans hold a supermajority in both chambers.
A spokesperson for Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said the Senate “will consider the veto override” if it’s approved by the House. The House will vote on May 24, according to Huston.
“The presumption of the policy laid out in HEA 1041 is that there is an existing problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires further state government intervention,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a letter to lawmakers explaining his veto. “It implies that the goals of consistency and fairness in competitive female sports are not currently being met. After thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim even if I support the overall goal.”
Holcomb added that “not a single case of a male seeking to participate on a female team has completed the process established by IHSAA’s now decade-old policy.”
The governor’s veto was celebrated by opponents of the bill, including Nathaniel Clawson, whose 9-year-old daughter Kirin is transgender.
“She’s really done great and so there hasn’t been any issues that we’ve ever had,” Clawson said of Kirin’s experience playing on girls sports teams in Bloomington.
“I’ve made friends with almost all the teammates I’ve had since I was four,” Kirin said.
Other Hoosier parents have supported the measure, arguing the bill ensures girls have a fair opportunity to compete.
Advocates praised House Republicans for their plans to override the governor’s veto.
“I think what we see is how quickly it only takes one male competing in a female category to quickly dominate,” said Matt Sharp, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. “And that’s why we need to take these proactive measures.”
Meanwhile, parents like Nathaniel Clawson hope the governor’s veto stands.
“If you’re really worried about this, let the IHSAA handle it the way they have been because it hasn’t been a problem,” Clawson advised lawmakers.