GOP Plays Hardball on Girls' Sports, Trans Treatments

April 11, 2022

There are plenty of ways to end up in the doghouse with voters, but Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) certainly found the fastest: vetoing a bill on girls' sports. Two weeks into the blowback, the governor is still trying to dig out of the hole he created for himself. But based on the latest polling, he's going to need a lot bigger shovel.

Fewer than one in five Indiana voters approve of Holcomb now, a dramatic turn that shows just how significant the transgender issue has become. In Indiana, where the bill had 65 percent support (54 percent of which was categorized as "strong"), most people couldn't believe that the governor would stake out such a wildly unpopular position. And yet, Holcomb decided to follow the likes of South Dakota's Kristi Noem (R), who incurred the wrath of the entire Republican Party last year when she caved on a similar bill at the last minute -- betraying voters and stunning everyone who assumed she was made of stronger stuff.

Since then, the outrage over Noem has served as a powerful warning to conservative leaders, who've raced to sign sports bills into law in more than a dozen states. Holcomb, meanwhile, has tried to rationalize his veto, arguing that the bill was "addressing something that isn't a problem" -- an absurd take that swimmers everywhere would happily rebut. In his own state, 77 percent know about the controversy caused by biological male Lia Thomas, and 75 percent of Hoosiers take the women's side. "These are just excuses on [Holcomb's] part," Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) argued. "Hoosiers aren't buying it."

Just last month, women asked the NCAA, "Do we have a voice?" A collection of Olympians and other female swimmers wrote to the association complaining that America is "witnessing irrevocable damage to a sport" in a year that women should be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX. "It took a male-to-female transgender person one year to take the women's swimming national championship title," they argued. "This is not equality. Women's standings, titles, records, and scholarships are suddenly at risk again" -- when, like Holcomb, the NCAA could have done something to stop the bleeding.

Fortunately, in places like Alabama, there are leaders courageous enough -- not only to protect sports, but to protect all children from making terrible, life-altering mistakes. Despite the Left's harassment, Governor Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) just made Alabama one of the handful of trailblazing states to put the brakes on gender treatments for kids under 18. For FRC, who worked with state legislators for years to see this bill advance, last Friday's signing was a moment of profound celebration. "We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life," Ivey said. "Instead, let us all focus on helping them properly develop into the adults God intended them to be."

Alabama becomes the fourth state to protect children in some capacity from the sterilizing and mutilating treatments of the Left. Treatments, Americans learned last week, that the Biden administration is openly demanding that taxpayers fund. When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that, calling Alabama's law "extreme," state leaders fired back: "[We're] tired of the Biden administration's radical Leftist agenda and overreach into our state affairs. Our message to the Biden administration is to respect the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, and keep your nose out of our business."

Deep down, Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) said on "Washington Watch," Democrats know that 90 percent of the country doesn't agree with their extremism. The idea that "there'd even be any disagreement about the abusive, inexcusable, egregious... mutilation of [young children's] bodies" is astonishing, he shook his head. "It's obviously child abuse." At the end of the day, Good insisted, it's up to us to "speak truth that God created two genders, and He makes no mistakes... The worst thing we can do is to reinforce the confusion or, worse, deceive parents about it."