Last Friday, a Republican lawmaker blocked an anti-transgender bill from moving through the Indiana House of Representatives.
The measure, HB 1361, was introduced Thursday and would prevent transgender Hoosiers from updating their birth certificates to reflect their lived identities.
“The intent of this bill is to strip transgender people of the most basic and fundamental dignity,” explained Freedom Indiana. “HB 1361 seeks to deny the very existence of transgender people—with the cruel mandate that a transgender person’s birth certificate can never match the identity they live as and the person they have always known themselves to be.”
The legislation was stalled by Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, the Republican chair of Indiana’s Public Health Committee, who confirmed in a statement that she wouldn’t be hearing the bill. Instead, she’ll encourage her committee to focus on combating opioid and heroin addiction throughout the state.
“We’re so thankful to Rep. Kirchhofer and members of the General Assembly who saw this dangerous bill for what it is: A harmful, discriminatory distraction from the real issues facing Hoosier families,” wrote Freedom Indiana campaign manager Chris Paulsen. “Discrimination will never win in Indiana. Together, we’ll continue to make sure of it.”
Bill author Rep. Bruce Borders has since come out to say that he didn’t mean to stir up controversy with his bill, telling the Indy Star, “This was not a philosophically driven thing. I just respect accuracy in all legal records.”
HB 1361 was undoubtedly inspired by North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use public restrooms and changing facilities in accordance with the gender on their birth certificate. Though newly-elected governor Roy Cooper promised to repeal the measure in the new year, the state’s GOP-led general assembly has made it impossible for him to do so.