Libertarians Oppose HB 1291

Transgender Hoosiers will be made vulnerable under a bill being proposed in the Indiana General Assembly.

The Libertarian Party of Indiana stands in opposition to legislation limiting rights or freedoms of any citizens, when their actions do not harm others, and HB 1291 facilitates potential discrimination on a state level based on the lifestyle or identity of individuals. Indiana House Bill 1291 replaces “gender” with “biological sex” throughout the Indiana Code, thus putting transgender Hoosiers at risk. The Libertarian Party of Indiana therefore strongly encourages Indiana legislators to vote “no” on this heinous piece of legislation.

“The Legislature is inserting the state into individual choices, putting a blanket, firm legal statute in place that overrides the rights of Hoosiers to peaceably live their lives on their own terms,” Libertarian Party of Indiana state chair Evan McMahon said. “This would, as a matter of law, put fully transitioned people in immediate danger.”

The bill would, in its own language, replace “the term ‘gender’ with the phrase ‘biological sex’ in certain statutes in which the term is used to describe the condition of being physically male or female.”

In reality, it would make things significantly more difficult for transgender Hoosiers, especially those who are fully transitioned into a gender that is different than their sex assigned at birth.

Gender and biological sex are not always the same. Sex is a simple classification based on the reproductive organs one is born with, while gender is a person’s self-representation.

Requiring a fully transitioned woman, for example, to be incarcerated in an all-male prison would put that person in significant danger. Student housing at state universities in single-gender dormitory floors will also be complicated.

It could also complicate individuals attempting to change their names or even the simple act of procuring a driver’s license or state-issued ID. A transitioned person having a state-issued ID under their biological sex could be used to prevent the person from exercising their right to vote, as their gender expression wouldn’t comport to what is listed on their ID.

By replacing “gender” with “biological sex” in anti-discrimination statutes, the state will essentially remove transgender people as full citizens with agency and sovereignty over their own lives and self-expression by creating state sanctioned discrimination against them, while still preventing discrimination by race, religion and other factors.

The Libertarian Party believes in freedom for all individuals, as well as freedom of association. The state should not be a third party dictating the terms of that association or how we as individuals identify and present ourselves. We urge legislators to vote “no” on HB 1291.

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