A bill banning transgender girls from playing girls sports in elementary, middle and high schools has passed the Indiana House.
House Bill 1041 now heads to the Senate, where LGBTQ advocates say they'll continue to oppose the bill and tell lawmakers about the harm such a measure will have on the state's transgender children.
Originally, the bill applied to sports at both the K-12 and collegiate level, but it was amended Monday to take out language regarding post-secondary institutions. Some, including Attorney General Todd Rokita, would like to see it added back.
The bill’s author, Rep. Michelle Davis, R-Whiteland, said the bill is about protecting girls athletics from what she sees as a threat posed by transgender girls, who could have a biological advantage that will cause cisgender girls to lose the opportunity to play or compete on a even playing field.
It has been staunchly opposed by the ACLU, the LGBTQ community and parents of trans children who say they want and deserve the same opportunities as their cisgender peers. The ACLU has said it will fight the bill in court, should it be signed into law.
Rep. Tonya Pfaff, a teacher and Democrat from Terre Haute, called it discriminatory.
"When we pass laws on issues like this, we are usually trying to put an end to discrimination," she said during brief debate over the bill Thursday afternoon. "This law puts discrimination into Indiana law."
Davis said she's aware of one cisgender Hoosier girl who has been impacted by the participation of transgender girls in girls sports, out of more than 60,000 athletes.
The Indiana High School Athletics Association does have a policy in place to govern the participation of transgender athletes in participating schools. For transgender youth to compete on a high school team in Indiana that matches their gender identity, IHSAA rules require they prove they have been living as the gender they identify with for at least a year.
Transgender girls must have “completed a minimum of one year of hormone treatment related to gender transition or undergone a medically confirmed gender reassignment procedure,” the policy says.
In attempting this ban, Indiana joins roughly three dozen other states to pass or attempt similar legislation.
The bill was passed 66-30. Reps. Ed Clere, R-New Albany and Cindy Ziemke, R-Batesville, were the only two Republicans to vote against the measure. No Democrats voted in favor of it.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: HB 1041: Indiana House votes to ban transgender girls from girls sports