INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana could become the 10th state to ban transgender students from participating in school sports that align with their gender identities.
The proposed legislation is House Bill 1041 and would also allow parents to file a complaint against schools who go against the ban.
State Rep. Michelle Davis, a Republican from Whiteland, wrote the bill. The Johnson County legislator says the bill is a way to protect Hoosier girl athletes.
Opponents say this is another example of discriminatory legislation targeting trans youth. “Trans youth in Indiana feel that every single year the lawmakers single them out for bullying them for political purposes,” said Kit Malone, advocacy strategist with the ACLU of Indiana.
Malone called this bill another attack on already vulnerable youths. “We do not have examples of trans girls coming into school sports and then taking them over.”
The bill would also require schools to establish procedures for parents to file a grievance against schools who violate the measure, resulting in another student losing out on an athletic opportunity, or is injured.
Davis sent a statement to News 8:
“This legislation is the result of listening to the concerns of female student athletes and parents in my district and across the state. The purpose of this bill is to protect fair competition in girls’ sports.”
She said as a former NCAA Division I athlete: “I know the life lessons and opportunities competing in sports provided to me while growing up and as a young adult. This bill is aimed at protecting those same opportunities for Hoosier girls now and in the future.”
Indiana state Rep. Michelle Davis, a Republican from Whiteland, wrote the bill. She says the bill is a way to protect Hoosier girl athletes.
Malone said moving forward with this type of legislation doesn’t solve a problem. “Trans children deserve scholarships, too. The idea that we are somehow less deserving of scholastic achievement and we are less deserving of participation in our schools that’s the definition of discriminatory.”
Opponents plan to rally Monday morning at the statehouse Monday morning ahead of a House Education Committee hearing. House Bill 1041 bill will be the one of three scheduled to be discussed and perhaps voted on at the committee meeting starting at 8:30 a.m. in the House of Representatives chamber.