ACLU of Indiana and Fort Wayne LGBTQ community member react to House Bill 1041 passing through Senate

Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 11:29 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - House Bill 1041 was passed through the Senate Tuesday and it’s drawing a lot of push back.

The bill would bar transgender girls from playing K-through-12 girls sports in Hoosier schools.

Katie Blair with the A-C-L-U of Indiana says she was disappointed that house bill 1041 is ready for the Governor’s signature because it sends the wrong message.

“This is already a vulnerable population. They’re vulnerable to having suicidal thoughts, having more bullying and by doing this, it sends a clear signal that trans youth are not welcome in this state, and they shouldn’t be included and be treated like the rest of their peers,” Blair says.

The house passed this bill nearly a month ago. Blair told ABC21 they will sue if the bill becomes law.

“We’ve been keeping a close eye on this legislation, and it is unconstitutional so we will most likely be seeing the state in court,” Blair said.

The bill has received plenty of opposition and support since day one, including some comments on the statehouse floor Tuesday.

“All of the other things we have to deal with, we don’t have to deal with this, vote no on this bill, thank you,” District 25 State Senator Tim Lanane said.

Lanane then asked this question to District 18 State Senator Stacey Danato.

“Do you think it’s unfair for a transgender female to compete against a biological female?”

She says, “My opinion is not a part of this bill.”

Supporters of this say the issue is complicated but clear when it comes to passage.

“Despite being equal, we are all not the same. Biological males and biological females have different genetic strengths and weaknesses. This is why we need to protect the athletic competition and protect female sports,” Danato said.

Opponents, including Blair, say the state of Indiana is taking a step back.

“This kind of message really makes people really think especially the trans community if they want to stick around and so it’s unfortunate that we passed this legislation,” Blair said.

ABC21 also received a statement from a Fort Wayne nurse who is a transgender woman. She didn’t want to go on camera, but she told us:

“I think it’s a bill rooted in hate. This bill is not addressing some great public crisis. Even the IHSAA, who have already addressed this issue and have reasonable policies in place, report that they only have had one person attempt to invoke said policies.”

She went on to say members of the Republican Party are trying to create what she calls a “wedge issue” by demonizing a minority.

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