Human Rights Campaign Praises Republican Indiana Gov. Holcomb for Vetoing Anti-Trans Sports Legislation; Urges Legislators to Not Override

by Henry Berg-Brousseau

Bill That Would Ban Trans Kids From Playing Sports on Teams That Align With Gender Identity Vetoed by Republican Governor Eric Holcomb

Tonight, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — praised Republican Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb for vetoing House Bill 1041, legislation that would have denied transgender students in Indiana the opportunity to play school sports with their peers. Though Governor Holcomb vetoed the bill, the House and Senate could override the veto with a simple majority vote in both chambers. It’s now on Indiana lawmakers to uphold the veto. Otherwise, transgender youth will be denied the social, physical and emotional benefits of playing school sports. Further, the state would be opening itself up to legal challenges, as have followed similar laws in other states.

“Governor Holcomb did the right thing tonight in vetoing a bill that would only cause problems, not solve them, by targeting Indiana’s transgender children and making them the targets of exclusion and discrimination in their own schools,” said Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley. “HB 1041 would help no one — the bill’s proponents could not summon even a single example where someone was impacted as a result of transgender students participating in school sports, which they’ve done for decades across the country. While we are encouraged that Governor Holcomb decided to veto the bill, transgender students in Indiana are not out of the woods yet. We urge lawmakers to uphold the Governor’s veto because all Indiana children deserve better than being treated as political pawns - what they deserve is to be able to have fun with their friends, exercise, and learn how to be part of a team. This veto is a strong statement of Indiana’s values and the legislature must allow it to stand.”

Holcomb’s veto comes after a recent survey showed that 52.1% of LGBTQ+ people in Indiana reported experiencing depression in the prior two weeks – more than twice the number of non-LGBTQ+ Indianans reporting the same – and on the heels of new data being released showing support for LGBTQ+ rights continuing to tick upwards in Indiana, even as HB 1041 passed the Republican-controlled legislature by a vote of 66-30 in the Senate and 32-18 in the House.

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