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Indiana lawmakers overturn governor’s veto of transgender girls school sports ban

Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Ahead of the votes to override the governor's veto, the ACLU of Indiana and others gathered for a Let Kids Play rally at the Statehouse.

Lawmakers voted Tuesday to override the governor’s veto of a bill to ban transgender girls from girls school sports. The ACLU of Indiana has already filed a lawsuit against the bill.

The votes in both chambers to override the governor’s veto were basically identical to the votes to pass the bill during the legislative session. Before the override votes, Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said the state was prepared for lawsuits against the bill.

“We don’t like to get the state of Indiana sued, but it happens from time to time. And it’s a policy I think we can stand behind,” Bray said.

House Speaker Todd Huston said, also before the override vote, the bill is good policy for Indiana.

“Protecting girls sports – that’s what our hope for the bill is,” Huston said. “And again we feel good, the attorney general – I understand – feels good about defending this if there is court action, and we believe it’s the right policy for Indiana.”

READ MORE: 'A solution in search of a problem': Lawmakers may vote to overturn trans girls sports veto Tuesday

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During debate on the bill in the Senate, Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis) said the bill was another example of government overreach and violates human rights.

“Today’s bill is not about religion or morality,” Qaddoura said. “The legal question before us today is: whether or not government – the state of Indiana – can discriminate against any kind or type of student in any school that is publicly funded by tax-paying dollars.”

The bill passed in the House 67-28. It passed in the Senate 32-15.

Shortly after the Senate’s vote, the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit. Katie Blair, director of advocacy and public policy, said the legislation was “unconstitutional” and “hateful.”

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to protect trans children and make sure that they know that they are loved and they belong in the state of Indiana,” Blair said.

The ACLU of Indiana and others gathered for a Let Kids Play rally at the Statehouse before lawmakers voted. Gender Nexus executive director Emma Vosicky directed her comments at transgender girls in the audience.

“I want you to know, it does get better,” she said. “We will change this. We are beautiful. There is a world of possibilities out there. We love you all.”

The ACLU hopes to block the measure from taking effect on July 1.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

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Lauren Chapman