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GiaQuinta’s statement on the veto override vote of HEA 1041

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INDIANAPOLIS – Legislative Republicans today overrode Governor Eric Holcomb's veto of House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1041, which makes a ban of transgender girls partaking in school sports state law. Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) offered the following comments as the caucus voted to sustain the Republican governor's actions on Technical Corrections Day: 

“Indiana codified legislation directly targeting a few vulnerable students into law to distract from Republicans inability to meet the moment and form a cogent agenda,” GiaQuinta said. “It's a pattern seen in state legislatures across the country. When the GOP doesn't have answers to folks' toughest questions, they resort to legislative measures meant to distract and divide. The majority has the legislative power to alleviate the burden of high gas prices, reduce the cost of health care, or tackle any number of issues facing hardworking Hoosier families, but instead Statehouse Republicans levy an attack against schoolchildren.

“A simple breakdown of the numbers squared with values of empathy and compassion can provide insight into the vote to sustain the Governor's veto:

  • Two. Only two transgender athletes have ever applied to the Indiana High School Athletics Association (IHSAA) to participate in school sports as their transitioned gender.
  • One. Only one transgender student has ever been approved by the Indiana High School Athletics Association (IHSAA) existing policy to play in their transitioned gender.  This was a case of a trans boy playing on a boys' team and would therefore not be impacted by the changes in HEA 1041.
  • Zero. No transgender girl has ever successfully navigated the existing IHSAA policy to play alongside their peers.
  • Zero. No transgender athlete has ever won a state-level award, title or scholarship.

“All of this time and debate at the state legislature all for a few students and only one of them has even attempted to play girls sports. That's the premise of HEA 1041, one student who has never played as their transitioned gender. Meanwhile, 56% of transgender students have reported a suicide attempt. Have we no mercy for our most vulnerable children?

“While all of us can surely agree on the need to protect fairness and competition in sports, this bill does no such thing. The Indiana High School Athletics Association raised concerns about the potential for confusion and inconsistency between state school districts in the enactment of this policy. It's both the human and technical policy ramifications of HEA 1041 that led to today's decision on the House floor.”

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