Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, a Republican, vetoed a bill on Monday that would have banned transgender girls from playing girls’ sports at school. 

Holcomb said he vetoed the bill, officially known as HEA 1041,  because he believed there to be no relevant need for the bill. 

In his veto letter, he 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 effort overall.”

Indiana’s State Attorney General, Todd Rokita, a fellow Republican, tweeted in response to the Governor’s veto, “We stand by the law and will vigorously defend it in court if and hopefully when the General Assembly overrides the veto.”

While encouraged by Governor Holcomb’s veto, Cathryn Oakley, Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel, said in a statement, “transgender students in Indiana are not out of the woods yet. We urge lawmakers to uphold the Governor’s veto because all Indiana children deserve better than being treated as political pawns – what they deserve is to be able to have fun with their friends, exercise, and learn how to be part of a team.” 

According to the New York Times, since 2019, Republican governors in 11 states, including Florida and Texas, have signed similar bills into law.

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