The Indiana House approved a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls school sports Thursday.
House Bill 1041's author, Rep. Michelle Davis (R-Whiteland) said it's about preserving fairness in girls' sports competitions.
But the legislation received intense pushback from LGBTQ+ Hoosiers and advocacy groups, parents, and medical experts during its committee hearing earlier in the week.
Many said the bill will likely harm the mental health of transgender children and youth. Protests erupted in the chamber after the House Education Committee approved the bill.
Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.
Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute) spoke against the bill before the House floor vote Thursday. She said the bill is a tool of discrimination.
"We are usually trying to put an end to discrimination. This law puts discrimination into Indiana law – it sends a message and it's a bad one," she said.
Pfaff and other lawmakers opposed to the bill also pointed out that the Indiana High School Athletic Association has an established process to handle gender identity and athletic participation.
The measure does not prevent transgender boys from participating in boys school sports.
The bill passed 66 to 30. It now heads to the Senate.