The law will take effect July 1, and those already receiving gender-affirming care will no longer have access after the end of the year, according to the bill.
SB 480 passed through the legislature last week in a vote split down party lines. The bill has drawn criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union, which announced plans to pursue a lawsuit on Monday.
Holcomb said in a statement that he believes gender-affirming care should only be prescribed once someone is an adult, according to WTHR.
“There has and will continue to be debate within the medical community about the best ways to provide physical and mental health care for adolescents who are struggling with their own gender identity, and it is important that we recognize and understand those struggles are real,” he said in the statement. “With all of that in mind, I have decided to sign SB 480 into law.”
Prior to Holcomb’s decision, Bloomington community members gathered at the Monroe County Courthouse to protest SB 480. During the event, several young transgender people spoke out against the bill, joined by public officials like state senator Shelli Yoder. Dana Black, an activist and public speaker, urged people during the event to vote candidates who support LGBTQ rights into the state legislature in 2024.