Indiana governor vetoes transgender girls sports ban

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with reporters at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis Feb. 23, 2022. Gov. Holcomb is facing criticism from many fellow Republicans and calls for an override of his veto on legislation banning transgender females from competing in girls school sports, a decision that put him at odds with a conservative cause that has led to similar state laws across the country. The bill passed by wide margins in the GOP-dominated Indiana Legislature _ and the House speaker announced plans Tuesday, March 22, 2022 for a May 24 meeting during which it could override the governor's veto with simple majorities in both the House and Senate. (AP Photo/Tom Davies)

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s governor on Monday vetoed a bill banning transgender females from participating in girls school sports. 

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signaled support for the bill last month but said in his veto letter that the legislation “falls short” of providing a consistent statewide policy for what he called “fairness in K-12 sports.”  

Republican sponsors of the bill said it was needed to protect the integrity of female sports and opportunities for girls to gain college athletic scholarships. Opponents of the transgender sports bill argued it was a response to a problem that doesn’t exist, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana saying it planned a lawsuit against what it called “hateful legislation.” 

The Indiana law would prohibit K-12 students who were born male but who identify as female from participating in a sport or on an athletic team that is designated for women or girls. But it wouldn’t prevent students who identify as female or transgender men from playing on men’s sports teams. 

Eleven other Republican-led states have adopted such laws.