The GOP-led Indiana House of Representatives and Senate voted to override Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a bill banning biological males from competing in girls’ sports.
The House voted 67-28 early Tuesday. The state’s Senate voted in favor of the override 32-15 to overwhelmingly defeat the governor’s veto.
“Biological males have an inherently stronger physique, and this bill assures there are not any unfair advantages,” Republican state Sen. Jeff Raatz said in a statement following the governor’s April veto.
“Biological females have the right to participate on an even playing field against their peers, and ensuring this fairness in female sports is a critical part of providing our youth with meaningful experiences and opportunities beyond the walls of the classroom,” he added.
Holcomb argued in a March letter to Indiana state Speaker Todd Huston (R) that the bill would increase “the likelihood of litigation against our schools with the courts having to adjudicate the uncertainties.”
A second concern the governor expressed in his letter was that the law would not stand in court.
“In the two cases with initial rulings thus far, the courts have enjoined or prohibited laws with these same substantive provisions from taking effect based on equal protections grounds,” Holcomb added.
The governor noted a third concern as well, noting that the newly proposed law “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 overall goal.”
The Daily Wire previously reported that many Indiana Republicans disagreed with the governor’s veto, including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R).
“The passage of HEA 1041 to ban males from competing on female sports teams is an important step in protecting youth sports and has been championed by my office. We welcome the opportunity to defend this law if challenged in court,” he wrote.
The passage of HEA 1041 to ban males from competing on female sports teams is an important step in protecting youth sports and has been championed by my office. We welcome the opportunity to defend this law if challenged in court. pic.twitter.com/jNv9NzjDuG
— Todd Rokita (@AGToddRokita) March 10, 2022
A similar situation took place in Kentucky in April as the Republican-led legislature voted to override Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s veto to enact a law to ban biological males from competing in girls’ sports from 6th-12th grades and from women’s sports in college.
The override occurred after Beshear vetoed SB 83, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, and claimed the legislation would likely not hold up under legal challenges.
The bill originally passed in the Kentucky House of Representatives 70-23 and in the state Senate 26-9.
Several GOP-led states have passed transgender athlete ban laws following controversy over University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male competing on the university’s women’s swimming team. Thomas won several events, including in competition at the Women’s NCAA National Championship in Atlanta.
Earlier this month, Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed legislation banning biological men from participating in women’s sports, making it the 16th state to do so.
“Athletic teams or sports designated for males, men, or boys shall not be open to students of the female sex, unless no team designated for females in that sport is offered at the school in which the student is enrolled,” the legislation read. “Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex.”