Indiana YCL: Vote “no” on anti-transgender bill!

 
BY: Callie June Simon And Jake Watkins| February 1, 2022
Indiana YCL: Vote “no” on anti-transgender bill!

 

On January 24th, an Indiana House committee chaired by Rep. Robert Behring passed House Bill 1041 authored by Rep. Michelle Davis. The bill tells trans youth that they do not deserve the same opportunities as those of their peers. Trans athletes should have the same rights as any other student to participate in sports according to their gender identity. Denying students this right is discrimination and unconstitutional. The bill endorses right-wing trans-exclusionary rhetoric while ignoring all relevant social data.

The Indiana Young Communist League stands with the transgender youth, and we demand the protection and expansion of trans rights. Please contact Governor Eric Holcomb at 317-232-4567 and your local state representative to demand they vote no on HB 1041.

HB 1041 requires school corporations, public schools, non-public schools, and certain athletic associations to designate an athletic team or sport as one of the following: (1) A male, men’s, or boys’ team or sport; (2) a female, women’s, or girls’ team or sport; (3) a coeducational or mixed team or sport. In other words, HB 1041 looks to ban trans girls and women from sports designated for female athletes. In addition, this bill will do three other things: (1) require schools to establish a grievance procedure for violation of the law, (2) establish civil action for law violation, and (3) protect the schools from civil, administrative, disciplinary, or criminal action for upholding the law.

According to Rep. Michelle Davis, this bill is not about restricting access to school sports by transgender athletes but protecting the life lessons and opportunities gained by competing in sports to those assigned female at birth.

“This legislation is the result of listening to the concerns of female student athletes and parents in my district and across the state,” Davis said.

Evidence that trans athletes are stealing opportunities is nowhere to be found. Furthermore, this bill does not take into effect any empirical evidence to back these claims — including the case of Mack Beggs, a transgender male and two-time high school wrestling state champion from Texas who was not allowed to compete in the boys division and forced instead to wrestle in the girls division despite taking a low dose of testosterone as prescribed for medical transition.

According to the NCAA, commenting on similar legislation in Idaho, “Legislation aimed at categorically banning transgender people — and particularly transgender girls and women — from sport is inherently discriminatory.”

Eric Brooks, Chair, Communist Party of Indiana, said,

HB 1041 pretends to address a non-existent problem to falsely justify imposing oppressive restrictions on Indiana trans youth.  It is a component of a broad set of racist, anti-democratic, anti-worker, anti-women’s health, and anti-education initiatives being considered, or recently implemented, by the Indiana Statehouse and Republicans nationally. We join the Indiana Young Communist League and all people who stand with trans youth and the trans community in fighting for the ability of trans youth to have healthy, happy lives without oppression or false impediments.

There is extreme harm perpetuated by transphobia. According to a 2017 Youth Risk Behavior study, of nearly 132,000 students, 27% of those who identified as trans said they felt unsafe at or traveling to or from school, and nearly 35% said they had attempted suicide.

During the reading, Rep. Davis asked others to support her bill. Democrat State Rep. Ed Dulaney was skeptical of the necessity, asking, “Do we have a large number of biological males playing on female teams in this state?” “We don’t as of yet,” replied Davis, “but wouldn’t it be a tragedy if your granddaughter didn’t get to play?”

HB 1041 offers no protections to students because there is no impending risk. The only reason for passing this bill is to punish trans people and to isolate them from sports they have every right to compete in. Following the release from the committee, this bill will now have a reading scheduled before the Indiana House of Representatives.

Contact the Indiana House of Representatives at (317) 232-9600, (800) 382-9842, or (800) 382-9842. Contact your Indiana State Senator at (317) 232-9400, (800) 382-9467, or through the Legislators website regarding state government issues. Tell them to vote NO on HB 1041.

Write to info@indianacpusa.org for more information or to join the Indiana Young Communist League.

Image:  Ted Eytan (CC BY-SA 2.o).

 

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