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Indiana General Assembly overrides veto on transgender sports ban

The Republican-majority Indiana General Assembly easily used its Technical Corrections Day on Tuesday to override Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a bill that prohibits biological males from competing in K-12 girls sports in the state.

Indiana Republicans made good on a March promise to override, voting 32-15 in the Senate and 67-28 in the House.

The bill defines male and female as “a student’s biological sex at birth in accordance with the student’s genetic and reproductive biology.”

In a statement, Holcomb said his position has not changed.

“There remains zero cases and the process, which is managed by the (Indiana High School Athletic Association), is working. I stand behind my decision to veto HB 1041,” Holcomb said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit shortly after the override vote on behalf of a 10-year-old who plays on a school all-star girls softball team in Indianapolis to stop the law from taking effect July 1. The fourth-grader is a transgender girl, and the suit claims the law is a violation of Title IX and the U.S. Constitution.

The bill left it to school corporations to establish and maintain their grievance procedures and said any student deprived of an opportunity because a school has violated the law can sue for injunctive relief, and schools may not take retaliatory action against that student.

In his veto letter, Holcomb said the Indiana High School Athletic Association raised this as a concern during testimony on the bill and said he shared this concern.

“Meaning, student-athletes could be treated differently according to which school they attend and compete for. Frustration of students, parents and administrators will likely follow,” Holcomb wrote. “This of course only increases the likelihood of litigation against our schools with the courts having to adjudicate the uncertainties.”

Holcomb’s veto at the time shocked bill co-sponsor Rep. Michelle Davis, R-Greenwood, who assumed the governor would sign the bill after telling reporters in February “boys should be playing boys sports and girls should be playing girls sports.”

Greenwood is a former high school athlete and Ball State University point guard who in 2012 was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Hearings brought throngs of transgender activists to the Statehouse to testify against the bill but also many parents who spoke passionately of the need to protect girls’ sports.

Technical Corrections Day is a one-day session of the Legislature to correct minor discrepancies in recently enacted laws. Corrections generally range from correcting spelling to eliminating duplicates or conflicts with existing laws. The session can also be used to override a gubernatorial veto.

Democrats had called on the Legislature to use the session to suspend the state’s 56 cents per gallon gas tax.

This article was originally posted on Indiana General Assembly overrides veto on transgender sports ban

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