Indiana lawmakers on Tuesday overrode
Governor Eric Holcomb's veto of a bill that prohibits transgender
students from participating on school sports teams that match their
Holcomb, a Republican, vetoed House
Bill 1041 in March.
According to The Indianapolis Star,
the House voted 67-28 to override Holcomb's veto, while the Senate
voted 32-15. Republicans hold a supermajority in both chambers.
Within minutes of the final tally, the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana filed a lawsuit in
federal court challenging the legislation.
House Bill 1041 was authored by
Representative Michelle Davis, a Republican from Whiteland.
Davis told the Star that the
bill was needed to “maintain fair competition in girls' sports now
and in the future.”
Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor, a
Democrat from Indianapolis, criticized the measure, calling it
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, said that lawmakers were
attacking “a group of children for political gain” and called for
the bill's repeal.
“We saw that this doesn’t need to
be a partisan issue when the governor rightly vetoed this bill and
said he couldn’t find any evidence that trans kids playing sports
was a problem in the state,” said HRC State Legislative Director
and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley. “The backers of the bill could
not summon even a single example where someone was harmed or even
affected as a result of trans kids participating in school sports.
But transgender kids, even those who have no interest in playing
sports, will be harmed by this law. They’ll be denied a chance to
play, to learn about teamwork and responsibility, and all the other
benefits that come from playing school sports – all because a bunch
of legislators are pandering to a far-right portion of their base.”
“This legislation is wrong, it is
unnecessary, it is damaging to the mental and physical wellbeing of a
vulnerable population of kids, and I look forward to the day when
this law is overturned or repealed,” Oakley added.
The bill is expected to take effect on