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ACLU, advocates rally at Indiana Statehouse, call on Holcomb to veto gender-affirming care ban

A crowd of protesters gather at the Indiana Statehouse.
Lauren Chapman
Gov. Eric Holcomb has until April 5 to sign, veto or let Senate Bill 480 become law without his signature.

Governor Eric Holcomb has until April 5 to sign, veto or let Senate Bill 480 become law without his signature.

The ACLU of Indiana and other organizations for transgender rights called on Gov. Eric Holcomb to veto all the anti-LGBTQ bills moving toward his desk. Hundreds gathered at the Statehouse Saturday.

One bill has already been sent to Holcomb which bans medicinal and surgical gender-affirming care for transgender youth – Senate Bill 480.

Emma Vosicky is the executive director of Gender Nexus. She told the crowd lawmakers cannot erase trans lives through legislation.

“We know the joy of simply being ourselves, no one can take that away from us!” she said.

Indiana’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, HB 1608, is still moving through the General Assembly. Advocates also highlighted the material harmful to minors legislation, SB 12, which hasn’t yet received a committee hearing in the second chamber.

READ MORE: What is gender-affirming care?

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 throughout the legislative session. And follow along with our bill tracker.

Ken Inskeep and his wife Krisztina spoke to the crowd about their transgender son. They each led the crowd in chants as they spoke about lawmakers.

“Every time bad bills are proposed?” Ken Inskeep asked the crowd.

The crowd chanted back, led by Krisztina Inskeep. “We’ll be here!”

“When laws are proposed to take away affirming parents’ rights?” Ken Inskeep said.

Krisztina Inskeep and the crowd said, “We’ll be here!”

As part of the rally, Indianapolis drag queen Lola Palooza hosted a story time, reading “And Tango Makes Three” to the crowd, inviting those gathered to sit so everyone could see the book they held up. In just the last week, two Indiana drag queen story times were threatened with violence.

Noah Cash is a transgender young adult who spoke at committee meetings against Senate Bill 480. He called on the crowd to continue their voices to speak out for trans Hoosiers.

“We’re showing the strength of Hoosiers – our will and fearlessness to stand up, our heroism to defend our friends and family,” Cash said. “And the will and determination that you have put yourself out here and you are demanding change.”

Governor Holcomb has until April 5 to sign, veto or let Senate Bill 480 become law without his signature.

Lauren is IPB's digital editor. Contact her at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.
Copyright 2023 IPB News.

Lauren Chapman