On Monday, the Republican governor of Indiana vetoed a bill that would ban so-called “transgenders” from competing in sports for the opposite gender.
As reported by ABC News, Governor Eric Holcomb (R-Ind.) vetoed the bill, HEA 1041, after it passed through both houses of the state legislature, despite previously voicing his support for the same bill last month. In his veto, Holcomb claimed that the bill “falls short” of implementing a policy that would be consistent at the statewide level, and thus would not be able to provide “fairness in K-12 sports.”
Holcomb further justified his decision by pointing to the current policies of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, which already addresses the issue of certain individuals trying to compete for sports teams that don’t match their real gender, and that this policy has resulted in zero so-called “transgender women” succeed in getting approval for their requests to join women’s teams.
“The presumption of the policy laid out in HEA 1041,” Holcomb said in a statement, “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,” Holcomb concluded.
In Indiana, a gubernatorial veto can be overridden with a simple majority in the legislature rather than a two-thirds supermajority. Such a vote could take place as soon as May 24th.
Holcomb is not the first GOP governor to defy the will of the Republican base on the subject of transgender sports bans. Governor Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) vetoed a similar bill in March of 2021, despite having previously promised to sign the legislation, in a move that was widely seen as stopping her momentum as a rising political star ahead of the 2024 presidential election; she signed several executive orders afterwards that attempted to implement her own ban, but failed to win back the support of the base.
Earlier this month, Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R-Utah) vetoed such a bill despite it passing with overwhelming support in the legislature.