A new Indiana law banning transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams has ramifications beyond the borders of the Hoosier State.
In response to the statute — passed May 27 by the Republican-controlled General Assembly over Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s March 21 veto — the state of California no longer allows its employees or officials to travel to Indiana using public funds.
California’s travel ban went into effect July 1 at the same time as Indiana’s ban on trans sports, according to Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta.
He said a 2016 California law prohibits state-funded and sponsored travel, with limited exceptions, to states that pass laws that allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Bonta said Indiana’s new statute barring trans girls from participating in intramural and interscholastic school sports consistent with their gender identity is clearly discriminatory, and therefore Indiana is subject to California’s travel ban.
In total, California now bans its employees and officials from traveling to 20 states, which will increase to 22 in the coming months, including every Republican-led state that recently passed a ban on trans sports.
It is not known how much money California state employees spend in Indiana. But Indiana regularly hosts a wide variety of conventions and other events that draw attendees from all over the country, including California, which is home to one in nine Americans.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Republican from Munster, downplayed the economic impact of California’s travel ban on Indiana hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.
“While we will miss the liberal government workers from California visiting the Hoosier State this summer, we choose protection for our K-12 girls over them any day,” Rokita said.
Under the Rokita-backed statute, trans girls who were assigned male at birth are barred from playing on girls’ athletic teams in kindergarten through 12th grade, and parents of girls who believe their child was deprived of an athletic opportunity due to the participation of a trans girl. are authorized to sue their school for monetary damages.
Rep. Michelle Davis, R-Whiteland, the legislation’s sponsor, said it provides “a fair and equal opportunity to compete for Hoosier girls.”
“This issue stems from Hoosier parents like myself who are concerned about our female athletes, and their opportunities to compete, earn top spots and receive scholarships. This law is a common approach to protect and maintain the integrity of girls’ sports,” Davis said. .
There are currently zero trans girls participating in girls’ high school sports in Indiana. The new law does not apply to women’s colleges or professional athletics, nor does it prohibit trans boys from playing on boys’ sports teams.
The governor said those facts, along with the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) already having strict rules to ensure fair competition in school sports, were among the provisions that prompted his veto.
“The policy presumption presented in House Bill 1041 is that there is an existing problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires further state government intervention. This implies that the goals of sustainability and fairness in competitive women’s sports do not are currently. After thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim, even if I support the general intent,” Holcomb said.
State House Democrats said it’s unconscionable that Republicans would target children for discrimination, using the force of the law to tell trans children already unsure of their place in the world that they don’t matter and can’t even play sports with their friends.
“It’s blatantly discriminatory what we’re doing here,” Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, said during debate on the measure. “Throwing kids under the bus to gain voter support is not what we’re here to do. These are kids!”
A lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality is pending in federal court in Indianapolis.
All northwest Indiana Republican lawmakers supported the measure, except for state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, who joined all of the region’s Democrats except state Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, in opposing the measure. her.