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IN governor vetoes protections for female athletes

Published On: 3/22/2022


The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Christiana Holcomb regarding Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto Monday of HB 1041, a bill that would have protected athletic opportunities only for the state’s female athletes below the collegiate level:

“Women and girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. When we ignore biological reality, female athletes lose medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete. While Indiana’s fairness in sports bill glaringly failed to include protections for athletes at the collegiate level, the governor’s refusal even to protect girls in K-12 is all the more disappointing. By vetoing this bill, Gov. Holcomb has chosen to reject fairness in sports for thousands of women and girls in Indiana. Just last week, a female swimmer from Indiana was knocked down in the rankings at the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championships by a male who went on to claim a national title. Where is the governor’s empathy for those talented and courageous women? Regrettably, he has turned a blind eye to the increasing examples of males dominating girls’ athletic competitions.

“Gov. Holcomb’s claims about the bill ring hollow considering that 11 other states have enacted women’s sports laws without any confusion. They understand that these laws are not only constitutionally sound but fully consistent with Title IX. Attorneys general from 14 states said as much when they filed a brief supporting Idaho’s 2020 Fairness in Women’s Sports law. If Gov. Holcomb truly finds saving women’s sports ‘a worthy cause for sure,’ he would not sacrifice fairness for Indiana’s women and girls to such flimsy and baseless justifications. We are thankful to the legislators who took a stand for a level playing field for female athletes of all ages, and we will continue to work alongside them to protect fairness in women’s sports.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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