INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana House leaders on Tuesday said they will try to overturn Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a bill to ban transgender girls from girls’ K-12 sports teams.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after Holcomb’s office announced his veto of House Bill 1041. The governor cited a lack of evidence of transgender girls outcompeting non-transgender girls in Indiana and court rulings that have paused similar laws in at least two other states so far.
House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said in a statement the goal of the legislation is to protect competition in girls’ sports.
Bill author Rep. Michelle Davis, R-Whiteland, said in an accompanying statement girls and boys should remain separated in competition due to biological differences between them.
“This commonsense legislation would protect athletic opportunities for Hoosier girls right now and into the future,” Davis said.
If the legislature overrides the governor, it would mark the first time state lawmakers anywhere in the United States overrode a chief executive on legislation of this type.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, both Democrats, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, all vetoed similar legislation last year, and Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox has vowed to do the same to a transgender athlete bill lawmakers recently delivered to his desk. Those states all require two-thirds majorities to override gubernatorial vetoes, unlike the simple majority required in Indiana.
LGBTQ+ rights groups said they will push lawmakers to uphold the governor’s veto.
ACLU of Indiana Advocacy and Public Policy Director Katie Blair says the ACLU still plans to file a lawsuit if lawmakers overturn the governor’s decision.