HB 1291 would have replaced “gender” with “biological sex” in significant portions of Indiana law. It would have also defined specific terms including “boy”, “girl”, “female”, and “male” for purposes of laws pertaining to sex discrimination and benefits and services that are designated based upon sex.
HB 1291 appears to serve no purpose other than to try to erase the concept of “gender identity” from Indiana law. This is a bill in search of problem and is terrible public policy that is harmful to transgender Hoosiers and their families. “Gender Identity” has been a widely accepted characteristic for more than two decades. No matter how much they want to, Indiana legislators won’t change that by trying to erase it from Indiana code. The ACLU of Indiana strongly opposes HB 1291 and the harms it will cause for transgender Hoosiers and their families.
There is understandable concern about the section of the bill that relates to marriage, Section 46. The only change this section of the bill proposes to make to Indiana marriage law is to change “gender” to “biological sex.” The other language in this section of the bill is already in Indiana code. Fortunately, this section of Indiana code is unenforceable because of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell recognizing nationwide marriage equality.