Republican lawmakers plan to override trans sports bill veto; local pediatrician pushes back

Speaker of the House Todd Huston, R-Fishers, speaks during the first day of the legislative...
Speaker of the House Todd Huston, R-Fishers, speaks during the first day of the legislative session at the the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(AP)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 3:02 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WPTA) - Gov. Eric Holcomb’s decision to veto a controversial bill that would put new restrictions in place regarding transgender students competing in grade school athletics has drawn condemnation from his fellow republicans.

HB 1041, a measure that would ban transgender girls from competing in K-12 girls’ sports, was vetoed by Holcomb Monday evening. He says the Indiana High School Athletic Association already has a policy in place for maintaining fairness and believes these decisions are best left up to that organization.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) announced House Republicans will vote to override the governor’s veto when the legislature convenes on May 24 for technical corrections day. Senator Mike Braun and Congressman Jim Banks have both said they support a veto override--and State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) said he is ready to do just that.

“As a father to three girls who are all competitive athletes, I’m incredibly disappointed the governor vetoed this bill protecting fairness in girls’ sports. Hoosier females deserve to compete on an even playing field, and not lose opportunities to win or earn scholarships. I’m ready to join my colleagues in overriding this veto when lawmakers return to the Statehouse on May 24 for technical corrections day,” Rep. Carbaugh said.

Fort Wayne pediatrician, Dr. Tony Giaquinta, offered his perspective on the harmful mental health impacts the bill could have on transgender girls if the veto is overturned.

“This is so harmful for the kids that need the support—the social, emotional, and physical health—more than anybody. We know that trans girls are already marginalized and discriminated against and suffer from really deleterious mental health consequences. And so by further discriminating against them, in fact from our leaders, from the adults who should be protecting them, gosh, this is cruel as it is harmful,” Giaquinta said.

ACLU of Indiana member Kait Blair spoke out against the bill back in March: “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.”

To override the veto, Republicans only need a simple majority in both chambers.

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