Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) on Monday vetoed a bill that would ban transgender girls from taking part in girls’ sports in schools.
Holcomb said in a Monday letter that 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 overall goal,” the governor wrote, adding that the bill “leaves too many unanswered questions.”
The measure had been approved by the state’s Republican legislature but faced intense opposition, according to The Associated Press.
Critics of the bill, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, called it “hateful legislation” and added that it had intended to fight it in court, the AP added.
But Republican lawmakers who supported it claimed it would protect female sports, allowing athletes identified as girls at birth to keep college athletic scholarships. Those lawmakers, however, did not provide examples of transgender athletes outperforming others, the wire service reported.
With simple majorities in both the House and Senate, state lawmakers could override Holcomb’s decision with a veto override vote as soon as May 24, when legislative leaders have a tentative meeting planned.
Elsewhere in the country, 11 other states with GOP leadership have enacted such bans, the AP noted.