Two Republican Governors Veto Bans on Trans Athletes Competing Against Girls

Utah’s Republican governors vetoed Indiana bills that ban trans girls from playing on school teams for girls.

On Monday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed House Bill HEA1041. This would have prohibited trans women from participating on girls’ teams. It also made it mandatory for schools, including some private schools, to create grievance procedures that allow people to make complaints. And established a civil lawsuit for alleged violations. There was no ban similar on trans males wishing to compete alongside females.

Holcomb’s veto was partly due to the vagueness of enforcement. He wrote: “[S]It is possible for tudent-athletes to be treated differently depending upon which school they go to and where they compete. This will lead to frustration among students, parents, and administrators. This will only increase the chances of school litigation with courts being required to resolve the uncertainties.

And those are all risks in service of trying to stop something that doesn’t exist in Indiana. Holcomb wrote, “[The bill]This implies that current goals for consistency and fairness are not being achieved in female competitive sports. Although I agree with the goal, my thorough examination has not supported either of these claims.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s vote against H.B. 11. is more complex. H.B. H.B. 11 was originally not an interdiction on transgender students participating in girl’s sports. Instead, H.B. Instead, H.B. This was done to ensure trans girls who wanted to play in girl’s sports were fully committed and received treatments that did not diminish their biological benefits as males. This commission had the power to ban athletes who clearly have male genetic advantages. With the help of LGBT advocates, this bill was created through long negotiations. Utah’s existing policy on trans students requires them to undergo one year of transitional hormonal therapy before they are allowed to compete against other females.

But in the final hours of the legislative session, Utah state Sen. Daniel McCay (R–Riverton) introduced an amendment that changed the bill and transformed it to a full ban on trans girls competing with other girls. H.B. was also stricken from the amended. 11, which provided an indemnity for schools and athletic organisations from lawsuits that might result from enforcement of the bill. The amended H.B. The amended H.B. 11 would require schools to implement the law. However, they would not be covered from any damages resulting from it being implemented.

A lengthy letterCox stated Tuesday night that he vetoed the bill because it could have led to lawsuits against schools and athletic associations.

“[W]Why would we expose ourselves to legal risks for the poorest schools in our country, when there are other states that provide similar legal protections throughout the country? Cox wrote. Cox writes: “If the State insists upon a policy which encourages substantial litigation, then I believe that the State should pay for it.”

Cox explains that all this is done to stop one transgender girl from participating in state sports. Cox notes at the bottom of his veto-letter that Utah is home to 75,000 student athletes. Only four of them are transgender and only one are female. (The bill does not address trans students participating in male sports). This culture war is about one girl currently competing.

But as Cox notes, this is not without potential massive financial costs—and those costs will fall upon the taxpayers. These bills were vetoed by Cox as well as Holcomb because of a sense fiscal conservatism. The bills are civil lawsuit factories. This is becoming more apparent with the H.B. amendment. 11. that removed legal protections.

It seems likely that both vetoes will be overridden. To override a veto in Indiana, legislators need only to have a simple majority. Utah legislators are expressing their desire to preserve H.B. 11 because they believe the total ban will be struck down by the courts, but the commission—the part that was hammered out by compromise—could remain intact.

Utah’s compromise is smart enough to address the complicated issues that trans athletes face, even if the ban was thrown out by the courts. Although it does not assume transgender athletes are better than other girls, it creates an evaluation system for each transathlete.