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Indiana's governor is shocking Republican colleagues and constituents by banning a bill that would ensure fairness in girls' sports. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Kim Tisor takes a look at the vetoed measure and the women it affects.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, R-Ind.: "I agree adamantly that boys should be playing boys' sports and girls should be playing girls' sports."
That's what Indiana's GOP governor Eric Holcomb claimed last month before vetoing legislation Monday that would have banned so-called transgender females from girls' sports. His reasoning for the veto? Government intervention isn't needed because there's no problem.
Gender-confused kids and teens competing against the opposite sex is a contentious topic heating up collegiate athletics and K–12 sports. Track athlete Madison Kenyon lost to biological males five times.
Madison Kenyon, track and field athlete, Idaho State University: "The fact that that's still happening, that women are still losing to biological males in their own sport, shows why we need more female athletes to speak up about this."
The only problem is those who dissent are silenced. An attorney representing more than a dozen University of Pennsylvania swimmers reveals they were threatened into not opposing teammate William ( a.k.a. "Lia") Thomas.
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, attorney and Olympic champion: "They've been told that if they speak out that they will never get a job again, that corporate America will Google their name, see it, and say, 'Oh, transphobe — we don't want that.' ... They've been told they can't do anything about Lia walking around the showers."
If Holcomb had signed the bill, he would have joined nearly a dozen GOP governors who have signed similar measures — like South Dakota governor Kristi Noem.
Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D.: "Thankful to see this bill get support from the legislators and make it to my desk and that now we will ensure that we have fairness and a level playing field for female athletes here in the state of South Dakota at the K–12 level and the university level."
Iowa's governor endorsed similar common-sense legislation this month.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa: "It requires schools at all levels to designate sporting events as male, female or co-ed, in girls' sports."
Indiana's bill is still likely to pass, with the Republican-controlled chambers at the Statehouse needing only a simple majority to override Holcomb's veto. Interestingly, Indiana's Capitol building is located only a mile from the pro-trans National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA. Perhaps Holcomb's veto wasn't a slight to female competitors in the Hoosier State, but instead a neighborly gesture.
United States Catholic bishops actually took a stand for female athletes a couple of years ago. In 2020, they wrote a letter to members of Congress in support of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. They asserted there was a need to re-establish "a fair and safe playing field for all children and young adults."