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Tipsheet

Federal Judge Blocks Indiana Transgender Athlete Ban

AP Photo/Armando Franca

A “transgender” 10-year-old in Indiana will continue to play on a girls’ softball team after a judge blocked a state law preventing athletes from playing on teams consistent with their “gender identity” rather than their biological sex.

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U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson issued the preliminary injunction this week. As a result, 10-year-old “A.M.” will be allowed to rejoin the girls’ softball team at a public school in Indianapolis  (via The Hill):

U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson issued the preliminary injunction, finding that Indiana’s House Bill 1041, which went into effect July 1, likely violates Title IX and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that discriminating against an individual for being transgender constitutes sex discrimination.

In a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana in May, the group argued on behalf of a 10-year-old transgender girl – identified pseudonymously in the complaint as A.M. – that the state’s transgender athlete ban was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

According to the complaint, A.M. had been permitted to play on her school’s girl’s softball team last school year, but was informed by IPS once the law took effect that she is no longer able to participate because she is transgender.

Reportedly, A.M. “informed her family that she was a girl” at age three and has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Townhall covered in March how Indiana’s GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed the legislation, H.B. 1041, in March. The state legislature overrode his veto shortly after. 

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In his veto letter, Holcomb wrote that the legislation “falls short” when it comes to fairness in K-12 sports in the state. He noted in the letter that other states with similar legislation have faced lawsuits, and that “the issues raised in these lawsuits” should have been brought forward to be addressed.

“Finally, the presumption of the policy laid out in HEA 1041 is that there is an existing problem in K-12 sports in Indiana that requires further state government intervention. It implies that the goals of consistency and fairness in competitive female sports are not currently being met. After thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim even if I support the overall goal,” Holcomb wrote. Later in the letter, he claimed that “not a single case of a male seeking to participate on a female team has completed the process established by IHSAA’s [Indiana High School Athletic Association] now decade-old policy” surrounding transgender athletes.

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