INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers advanced a Republican-backed bill Thursday that would ban transgender women and girls from participating in K-12 school sports that match their gender identity, despite mounting opposition from activists that it’s unconstitutional, sexist and bigoted.
The bill would prohibit students who were born male but identify as female from participating in a sport or on an athletic team that is designated for women or girls. But it wouldn’t prevent students who identify as female or transgender men from playing on men’s sports teams.
The measure was voted out of the House on Thursday in a 66-30 vote, largely along party lines. Republican Reps. Ed Clere of New Albany and Cindy Ziemke of Batesville joined Democrats in voting against the proposal, which now heads to the Senate.
Democrats argued that the bill is “discriminatory” and “harmful to kids.” They also contended that the Indiana High School Athletic Association already has a policy that requires transgender girls who want to play sports to show they’ve completed hormone therapy, and that their muscle mass or bone density is typical of other girls the same age.