Indiana lawmakers override Gov. Holcomb's veto of trans sports ban

WHITING, Ind. (WLS) -- Indiana's Republican-dominated legislature voted Monday to override Republican Governor Eric Holcomb's veto of a bill that bans transgender students from competing in girls' sports.

Holcomb vetoed the bill saying it did not provide fairness in sports for kindergarten through 12th grade. The Indiana General Assembly voted to override the governor's veto of House Bill 1041, meaning a bill prohibiting transgender girls in girls' sports will become a law.

"Today your vote will send a clear message that Indiana will protect the integrity of female sports," Rep. Michelle Davis (R-District 58) said.

Davis, who co-authored the bill, shared she was a youth athlete.

"It prohibits a biological male from participating on an athletic team or sport designated as being female, womens', or girls' athletic team or sport," she said.

The Trevor Project offers 24-7 mental health and suicide prevention counseling to trans youth. With this law - and other newly-enacted similar laws across the country - the staff is preparing to support more Indiana youth who are following these developments.

"The message it sends is you don't belong," said Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project. "Sending that message to a group of people who is already struggling with alienation, bullying - that's a dangerous message."

As teams prepared to take the fields for practice or games, a soccer coach in Hobart said she is troubled by the General Assembly's action.

"If they find happiness on youth sports teams where they get to play and have fun and just be a kid, why is that being taken away from them?" Coach Becca Hendricks said. "That's just not fair. It's just not right."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of a 10-year-old softball player.

Barring any action from the court, the transgender girl would not be allowed to rejoin her team. The law is expected to take effect July 1.
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