Indiana News

2 Indiana House bills could impact transgender rights

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Newly proposed legislation is taking aim at Indiana’s transgender community. Advocates said this latest push is a stark contrast to the progess seen on a national level.

The Biden administration has taken steps to reverse the transgender military ban. And also assigned the first openly gay man to a cabinet position. There’s concern growing locally that the transgender community could see their rights limited if newly proposed legislation moves forward.

Indiana’s transgender community is taking a closer look at what proposed House bills could mean for them.

“What direction do we want to go in as Hoosiers? There’s been so much positive progress that has been made across the country with relation to LGBTQ rights,” said Veronica Pejril, Greencastle city councilor and Indiana’s first transgender elected official.

In the bills, both drawn up by District 45 Rep. Bruce Border, House Bill 1458 would prevent changes to birth certificates as it relates to gender. The exception: typographical or clerical error.

“We need our legislators who represent us to represent the medical reality of our lives and of our children’s lives,” Pejril said.

The other, House Bill 1456, would make entering a restroom not consistent with the gender assigned at birth a misdemeanor.

“None of the authors of these bills have put forth any credible reason why why people’s rights need to be limited. There’s not really instances of the kinds of things that they theorize might happen,” said Kit Malone with the ACLU of Indiana.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, law enforcement agencies in cities and states with nondiscrimination laws that include non-gender-specific restrooms report no increases in public safety incidents.

“We hope lawmakers see reason and focus on the problems that affect Hoosiers,” Malone said.