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Indiana House Speaker says GOP will override governor's veto of trans girls sports ban

Speaker Huston said lawmakers plan to override the veto May 24, when they convene for technical corrections day.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana House Republicans are planning to override the governor's veto of a bill that would ban transgender girls from playing on K-12 girls' sports teams. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday sent a letter to House Speaker Todd Huston informing him that he vetoed House Bill 1041 because, "for me, this current bill falls short." 

EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from a previous report about the governor vetoing HB 1041.

Holcomb listed a number of reasons for his veto, noting that the bill "leaves too many questions unanswered," puts schools at risk of being sued and implies that there's an existing problem in K-12 sports that requires the state to intervene. To this point, he said he saw no evidence to support this claim and applauded the Indiana High School Athletic Association's decade-old policy that he said has done "an admirable job" maintaining fairness and consistency in all sports. Essentially, if it's not broken, don't fix it. 

RELATED: Holcomb vetoes trans girls sports ban, says the bill 'falls short'

House Republicans disagreed. Speaker Huston and the bill's sponsor Rep. Michelle Davis issued a joint statement on behalf of the GOP on Tuesday saying they had every intention of overriding the governor's veto.

"The fundamental goal of this legislation is to protect competition in girls' sports, and House Republicans will vote to override this veto when lawmakers meet again on May 24. This issue continues to be in the national spotlight and for good reason as women have worked hard for equal opportunities on the playing field – and that's exactly what they deserve," Huston said. 

Davis sponsored the bill and is a former Division 1 college athlete. She said this bill is necessary for leveling the playing field. 

"Despite being equal, biological males and biological females both possess different genetic strengths and weaknesses. Because of these differences, biological girls should compete with girls and biological boys should compete with boys. This commonsense legislation would protect athletic opportunities for Hoosier girls right now and into the future. This bill is especially important as we mark the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX giving women athletes the right to an equal opportunity in sports. Hoosier girls deserve better and that's why I look forward to taking action to override this veto," Davis said. 

The state Senate voted 32-18, largely along party lines, in favor of the proposal that opponents argue is unconstitutional, sexist and bigoted. If passed, Indiana would join at least 10 other GOP-led states in adopting such bans.

Huston said lawmakers plan to override the veto May 24, when they convene for technical corrections day. 13News reached out to Huston to see if he planned to call a special session so lawmakers could override the veto sooner. At the time of publishing, 13News had not heard back. 

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