February 10, 2022

Protesters rally against transgender athlete ban bill ahead of Senate hearing

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Hoosiers from across the state rallied at the Statehouse Wednesday, ahead of HB 1041's second public hearing during this legislative session. - (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Hoosiers from across the state rallied at the Statehouse Wednesday, ahead of HB 1041's second public hearing during this legislative session.

(Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Pressure is mounting for Hoosier lawmakers to toss out a bill that would ban transgender girls from girls school sports. 

Protests echoed through the Statehouse ahead of the bill's second public hearing Wednesday, as lawmakers in the Senate were faced with a group rallying outside the chamber.

Many of the the criticisms have remained the same; like concerns about how it would negatively impact the mental health of – and limit opportunities for – transgender children. 

The author of House Bill 1041, Rep. Michelle Davis (R-Whiteland), insists the legislation aims to maintain fairness in girls athletics. 

READ MORE: LGBTQ advocates condemn bill to ban trans girl student athletes, national group supporting it

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. Trying to follow along with our coverage of the legislative session? We've compiled all the stories our reporters have published by bill number and topic here.

But Connie Thompson, a transgender woman from Martinsville, said athletes have all kinds of physiological traits regardless of their assigned sex at birth.

"There's no way to separate out trans girls without excluding a lot of cis girls too," she said.

Thompson and other critics have said it would codify discrimination. 

Claire Curran is a high school student and athlete from Indianapolis. She said the bill – and others like it across the country – don't bring her any comfort, and run counter to Hoosier ideals. 

"They've not made me feel any safer in this world, that is because this bill bars other young women from benefiting from the educational value of these teams," she said.

Dozens of others testified against the bill during its hearing, including religious leaders, medical and education experts and parents. Public testimony was overwhelmingly opposed.

The committee heard hours of testimony, but did not vote on the bill.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

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