Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem (R), has introduced a bill in South Dakota’s legislature that codifies her executive orders that restrict transgender athletes from competing in categories that correspond with their birth gender.
According to the Argus Leader, Noem filed Tuesday’s bill to restrict K-12 girls’ school sports and state-funded college to allowing the only natural-born girls to compete in girl’s categories. After the legislature rejected her revisions to House Bill 1217, the governor issued two executive orders.
Only girls should participate in girls’ sports. Noem tweeted on March 29 that, due to the failure of the legislature to accept my revisions to HB1217, I will immediately sign two executive orders to address this problem: one to ensure fairness in K-12 athletics and another to ensure fairness in college athletics. “Also, I will work with legislative leaders to schedule an extra legislative session in May or June.” She added that the special session will address this issue as well as others (medicinal cannabis and the most recent federal spending package).
The South Dakota High School Activities Association didn’t change its policy that transgender athletes can choose the category they wish to play in, despite the governor’s directives. Noem’s bill states that only female athletes may participate in any team or sport or athletic event that is designated as being for women, girls, or females. According to the bill, sex is defined as any that was given at birth.
The new legislation adds the ability for students to sue schools, colleges, and sports leagues that have violated the law. Any particular incident is subject to a two-year statute for limitations. Transgender supporters slammed the bill.
Gov. Noem claims she wants to promote fairness in women’s sports. But if true, she would address the real threats to women’s sports like severe underfunding and lack of media coverage.