The Indiana state legislature overturned Governor Eric Holcomb’s veto of House Bill 1041, which prevents transgender girls from joining girls’ school sports, in a technical session May 24, according to an Indy Star article. The original veto occurred in late March.
The House voted 67-28 and the Senate voted 32-15 to override the veto. In Indiana, the legislature can override a veto with a two-thirds majority in both chambers.
“This is a policy that we feel is appropriate. We don’t like to get the state of Indiana sued, but it happens from time to time,” Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, said in the Indy Star article.
According to the article, HB 1041 author Michelle Davis, R-Whiteland, said in a Statehouse session that the bill was designed to maintain fair competition between the girls’ sports teams.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit over the bill on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The lawsuit asserts the bill violates Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause.
In justifying his veto, Holcomb said in the article that the bill didn’t guarantee commitment to fairness in K-12 sports and a lawsuit was a likely response to such news.
According to the article, almost immediately after Holcomb’s veto, Republicans began contacting lawmakers, working to overturn the veto.
The article noted that Davis and other representatives wore pink in support of girls' sports. It said Democrats wore similar attire but many had pro-choice buttons on as well — possibly alluding to a special session on the topic of abortion.
In the article, Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor said the bill was “blatantly discriminatory” and said those who voted in favor threw “children under the bus.”
The state Democratic party chair, Mike Schmuhl, said in the article that the bill was a “national party purity test.”
The law will go into effect on July 1.