Like other bills in this culture war session, House Bill 1041 relies on misinformation and conspiracy theories to target kids who just want to play sports they love
ICYMI: Only 29-percent of Republican voters support measures like House Bill 1041
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today issued the following statement after the state general assembly forced House Bill 1041 out of committee. This is legislation that would place a target on innocent minors who simply want to attend school and play the sports they love with their classmates:
“A large majority of the public – including Republicans – is opposed to measures like House Bill 1041, and State Representative Michelle Davis even admitted today this legislation is a solution in search of a problem. There is absolutely no reason adults in state government should bully innocent children out of playing the sports they love with their friends, but unfortunately, this is exactly what the Indiana GOP’s culture wars would do,” said Drew Anderson, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Elected Republicans know better, but they care more about a potential primary fight than protecting and creating a better future for our children – especially our most vulnerable. Shame on them.”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: House Bill 1041 Full of Misinformation, Continues Culture War Session for Indiana GOP
NPR: “But a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds that Republican voters aren’t that enthusiastic about those proposed laws, even while they do have reservations about transgender sports participation.
Just 29% of Republicans said they ‘support a bill that prohibits transgender student athletes from joining sports teams that match their gender identity.’ Moreover, there was no significant party divide: Similar shares of Republicans, Democrats and independents also said they oppose the bills.”
Them: Trans Inclusion in School Sports Doesn’t Hurt Cisgender Girls, New Report Finds
“A 41-page report released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) on Monday argues that banning the trans community from sports deprives an already vulnerable group of the overall health benefits of athletics, which include lower risks of anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts, as well as decreased rates of tobacco and drug use. The report also finds that trans-inclusive sports policies don’t harm cisgender youth, contrary to the rhetoric that is deployed by politicians who have introduced legislation targeting transgender kids in more than 20 states, such as Montana and South Dakota.
Although these bills purport to “save women’s sports,” CAP finds that these proposals have proven detrimental to that cause. In states that force trans students to compete in school athletics in accordance with their “biological sex,” participation among cis female athletes actually decreased from 2011-2019. Conversely, the report found that some evidence suggests that trans-inclusive policies may increase overall girls’ sports participation: Since California established legal protections for trans students in 2014, participation in girls’ sports hit an all-time high in 2020.”
ACLU: FACT: Trans athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports.
MYTH: Trans athletes’ physiological characteristics provide an unfair advantage over cis athletes.
Women and girls who are trans face discrimination and violence that makes it difficult to even stay in school. According to the U.S. Trans Survey, 22 percent of trans women who were perceived as trans in school were harassed so badly they had to leave school because of it. Another 10 percent were kicked out of school. The idea that women and girls have an advantage because they are trans ignores the actual conditions of their lives.
Trans athletes vary in athletic ability just like cisgender athletes. “One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,” explains Andraya Yearwood, a student track athlete and ACLU client. “One sprinter could have parents who spend so much money on personal training for their child, which in turn, would cause that child to run faster,” she adds. In Connecticut, where cisgender girl runners have tried to block Andraya from participating in the sport she loves, the very same cis girls who have claimed that trans athletes have an “unfair” advantage have consistently performed as well as or better than transgender competitors.
“A person’s genetic make-up and internal and external reproductive anatomy are not useful indicators of athletic performance,”according to Dr. Joshua D. Safer. “For a trans woman athlete who meets NCAA standards, “there is no inherent reason why her physiological characteristics related to athletic performance should be treated differently from the physiological characteristics of a non-transgender woman.”