South Dakota Governor Signs Bill Banning Transgender Athletes from Participating in Biological Girls’ Sports

 Kristi Noem
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem addresses the annual Kansas State Republican Convention from the podium in the main ballroom of the Hilton Garden Hotel on Manhattan Kansas, April 24, 2021. File photo: Lev Radin, Shutter Stock, licensed.
File photo: Mark Reinstein, Shutter Stock, licensed.

PIERRE, SD – The Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, has signed a bill that will effectively ban transgender girls and college-age women from participating in school sports leagues, which makes South Dakota the tenth state to enact such a law.

“This bill’s about fairness. It’s about allowing biological females to compete fairly on a level playing field that gives them opportunities for success,” Noem said Thursday after signing Bill 46, saying that she was defending Title IX, a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination the basis of sex. “Title IX fought for that years and years ago and I’ve been doing this for years, which started, man, almost five years ago now in the sport of rodeo, where we protected girls’ events.”

Noem – a Republican – had issued a veto against a similar bill in 2021, when she sent it back to the legislature with a requests to change how it addressed high school and college sports, saying that her intention was to “protect girls’ sports.”

“I did not veto a bill,” Noem said at the time. “What I did was, I asked my legislature for changes, and they rejected it. So immediately that very same day I put executive orders in place to protect girls’ sports.”

Some expressed concern upon Noen’s initial veto that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) would refuse to sanction sporting events in South Dakota upon news of the Governor’s action, but her office expressed optimism that that would not be the case.

The bill that Noen – who some are saying is intending to run for the White House in 2024 – signed Thursday would affect female athletes in the state of South Dakota at the K-12 level and at the university level.

The NCAA did not immediately respond for requests for comment from several media originations on whether it would take any action as a result of the bill’s passage.

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