Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Holcomb joins 24 GOP governors to oppose Title IX protections for transgender athletes

A poster board sign is propped up on a table. It reads, "Title nine protects trans girls" on pink and blue construction paper against a black board.
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the 2020 Supreme Court ruled that employment protections "on the basis of sex" extended to transgender employees.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed on to a letter pushing back against the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule to include transgender girls under Title IX protections. That’s despite vetoing Indiana’s transgender girls sports ban last year.

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex for education institutions. The 1972 law intended to increase opportunities for female athletes.

The proposed DOE rule pushes back on bans across the country for transgender girls to participate in girls school sports, much like the ban that Holcomb vetoed and the legislature overturned last year.

The letter, signed by 25 of the 26 Republican governors, said the Biden administration is overextending a ruling from the Supreme Court in 2020, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. That ruling extended protections against employment discrimination “on the basis of sex” to transgender employees.

Advocates say the push of anti-LGBTQ+ and specifically anti-trans legislation across the country is an attempt to narrow that ruling to only employment protections. In just 2023, more than 500 bills targeting LGBTQ+ children and adults have been filed, including about two dozen in Indiana.

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.

When vetoing Indiana’s transgender girls sports ban, Holcomb said his reason was because Indiana already had a system in place to deal with complaints against trans athletes.

The governors’ letter said the proposed rule is part of “this administration’s relentless pursuit of draconian enforcement of its gender ideology.”

Attorney General Todd Rokita led a similar letter, signed by 16 other attorneys general.

Lauren is our digital editor. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

Lauren is the digital editor for our statewide collaboration, and is based in Indianapolis at WFYI. Since starting for IPB News in 2016, she's covered everything from protests and COVID-19 to esports and policy. She's a proud Ball State University alumna and grew up on the west side of Indianapolis.