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Republican Indiana Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Biological Males From Girls' Sports

Republican Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has vetoed a bill that would ban biological males from girls’ sports in schools.

House Bill 1041 would have applied to sports teams from kindergarten through high school and required players to join teams designated for their biological gender. It additionally would have allowed civil actions and potential criminal liability against schools that did not comply.

The bill was passed by the state’s Republican legislature but had been facing fierce opposition from Democrats and American Civil Liberties Union — who said they were gearing up for a lawsuit.

In a letter to Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston, Governor Holcomb wrote that he has not seen evidence of unfairness in girls’ sports in the state.

“The wide-open nature of the grievance provisions in HEA 1041 that apply to all K-12 schools in Indiana makes it unclear about how consistency and fairness will be maintained for parents and students across different counties and school districts,” Holcomb wrote. “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. 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 overall goal.”

Republican state Rep. Michelle Davis, the author of the legislation, said she was trying to protect fair competition for girls.

“I want to make sure that all the opportunities are provided for our young females, and we protect the fair competition for them, so they have all those possibilities,” Davis told local station WRTV.

“I think it’s trying to keep the focus on female sports and fair competition with sports. That’s what I feel the target of the bill is,” Rep. Davis added. “Of course, mental health, I empathize with anyone who goes through mental health issues. I see it’s real for all students and all Hoosiers today, but this bill is about maintaining fair competition for female sports.”

The debate surrounding girls’ sports has continued to gain steam as University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas made big waves shattering women’s records.

On Thursday, Thomas won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 500-yard freestyle title.

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