March 23, 2022 — On Monday, Indiana’s Republican Governor Eric Holcomb vetoed House Enrolled Act 1041, which would have banned transgender girls from participating in sports according to their gender identity.
As reported by The Guardian, Holcomb pointed to the Indiana High School Athletic Association, which has a policy covering transgender students wanting to play sports that match their gender identity, and has said it has had no transgender girls finalize a request to play on a girls team.
“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,” Holcomb said. “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.”
“Across the country, we’ve seen bill after bill claiming to solve a problem in women’s sports, yet in actuality serving only to harm already marginalized youth,” said Joanna Hoffman, Athlete Ally’s Director of Communications. “Anti-transgender athlete bills do nothing to protect women’s sports or to ensure fairness. If leaders truly wish to protect women’s sports, then they should focus on issues of unequal pay, sexual abuse, and a lack of women in leadership positions, rather than targeting transgender children who simply want to play sports with their friends.
We are grateful to see Governor Holcomb refuse to pass this discriminatory legislation. As with Utah’s Governor Spencer Cox, we hope to see more leaders working to ensure that all individuals in their states are protected from discrimination in every area of their lives, including sports.”
“This is great news from my home state of Indiana regarding trans youth participation in sports,” said Athlete Ally Ambassador and former U.S. Women’s National Team player Lori Lindsey. “It is certainly a step in the right direction. It cannot be overstated that Governor Holcomb found NO evidence to support the claim of HEA 1041. I hope all other states are taking note.”