Indiana Bars Biological Males from Girls’ Sports; Becomes 17th State to do so

Eric Holcomb

Indiana has become the 17th state in the United States of America to ban biological males from participating in girls’ sports. The bill by the state governor, Eric Holcomb, was overridden by the legislature on Tuesday.

Holcomb’s veto of House Enrolled Act 1041 states that biologically male students who identify as females “may not participate on an athletic team or sport designated under this section as being a female, women’s, or girls’ athletic team or sport.”

The bill will be effective from July 1, 2022. However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is opposing the bill. It has also filed a lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to restrict the law from being implemented.

According to a complaint filed on behalf of a 10-year-old trans-identified male, simply identified as A.M, who plays on a girls’ softball team, alleges that House Enrolled Act 1041 contravenes the federal anti-discrimination law and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

ACLU of Indiana Legal Director, Ken Falk, in a statement on Tuesday, said that he considers the bill to be centered on misinformation about biology and gender.

Falk said, “Girls like A.M. simply want to access the same opportunities as their peers and denying them that right jeopardizes their mental health and physical well-being,”

When the Republican governor vetoed the bill in March, 2022, he expressed worry over the “wide-open nature of the grievance provisions” embedded in the measure. He said that the legislation is “unclear about how consistency and fairness will be maintained for parents and students across different counties and school districts.”

In addition, Holcomb praised the effort of the Indiana High School Athletic Association at that time. He also described their actions as admirable which tends to maintain fairness and consistency in all sports.

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