Indiana Governor Refuses to Ban Non-Existent Problem

Written by SK Ashby

Several Republican governors have vetoed anti-transgender legislation in recent years for their own various reasons, ranging from the potential for legal challenges to at least one complaint that legislation didn't go far enough, but Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) stated his objections more simply.

Holcomb vetoed a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in sports programs because there are literally no transgender kids participating in any programs across the entire state.

Moreover, the state already has a policy covering transgender participation.

Holcomb, on the transgender sports bill veto, also 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 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 in his letter. “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 even if I support the effort overall.”

Unfortunately, the Republican majority that controls the Indiana state government can override Holcomb's veto and could do so as early as this week, but I do appreciate that he had the integrity to at least make it clear that this a solution for a non-existent problem.

Just because there are no transgender girls playing on any teams in the state does not mean there are none who want to, but those who do are probably too scared or feel unwelcome. The fact that they live in the conservative backwater of Indiana does not help them, but as we've seen in recent months any transgender athlete who excels at their sport inevitably becomes fodder for conservative media takes and the national conservative social movement in general. Any transgender girl who endures this has more fortitude than anyone I know.

The only power with the force to stop the movement against transgender rights is the Supreme Court with a more conclusive ruling that targeted bans on transgender people are unconstitutional. That's what it took to end the national movement against gay marriage.