Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana vetoed a bill on Monday that would have banned transgender girls from competing in school-sanctioned girls’ sports, taking a sharply different approach to the issue than 11 fellow Republican governors who have signed similar measures into law in recent years.
Mr. Holcomb said the bill, known as H.E.A. 1041, would likely have been challenged in court. He also questioned whether it was solving any pressing issue, writing in a letter to lawmakers that “the presumption of the policy laid out in H.E.A.
1041 is that there is an existing problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires further state government intervention.” “It implies that the goals of consistency and fairness in competitive female sports are not currently being met,” the governor added in his letter. “After thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim even if I support the overall goal.” Sports participation by transgender girls and women has become an increasingly divisive topic among political leaders and sports sanctioning groups, which have struggled with the issue in a way that respects transgender athletes and addresses concerns some critics have raisedabout competitive fairness.
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