(INDIANAPOLIS) – The bill banning transgender girls from playing girls’ high school sports has passed the Indiana House.
Whiteland Republican and former Ball State point guard Michelle Davis says not passing the bill would undo the work of the federal Title IX law which guaranteed women equal access to sports. She says it would destroy competition if transgender girls compete against other girls.
Davis recalls sharing a gym with boys as a player on a high school basketball player, and says even against players who were benchwarmers on their boys’ teams, she went from being the best player on the court to the worst.
Democrats contend the bill tackles a problem which doesn’t exist — there’s been one case of a trans athlete in Indiana, which the school handled internally. And the Indiana High School Athletic Association already has a longstanding policy if it comes up again, requiring trans athletes to have completed their hormone treatments, and to show that their bone density and muscle mass are comparable to the average for girls that age.
Supporters of the bill argue even with the IHSAA rules, transgender girls would bring pre-transition advantages to the playing field, from physical size to lung capacity. The bill would require them to compete on boys’ teams or not at all.
Terre Haute Representative Tonya Pfaff (D) maintains supporters’ focus on star athletes hoping for scholarships misses the reason most high school students play sports: to be part of something fun with their classmates. And House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) warns the bill will damage Indiana’s image.
The bill passed the House 66-30, with two Republicans joining Democrats in opposing it. The Senate will consider the measure next month.