State Watch

Noem says she will propose ban on transgender women in female sports

Greg Nash

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said this week that she is going to bring forth a bill that would ban transgender women and girls from participating in female school sports, according to The Associated Press.

Noem vetoed a similar bill in March, saying it would have easily been struck down in court, the AP noted. 

Instead, she issued an executive order amid pressure from social conservatives that urged high school and public university women sports programs to only permit girls and women whose birth certificates listed them as female to participate, according to the news service. 

Noem now is reportedly seeking to codify that executive order as legislation to promote “an equal playing field” for women. 

“Common sense tells us that males have an unfair physical advantage over females in athletic competition,” Noem said in a statement, adding on Twitter that “this issue is about basic fairness” and that she will ensure “only girls are playing girls’ sports.” 

The AP notes, however, that transgender advocates say the proposed legislation is an attack on transgender people and would do little to actually promote the welfare and equality of women in society. 

“Gov. Noem’s proposed legislation is clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender people in our state,” Jett Jonelis, American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota manager,  said in response, according to the news service. 

–Updated at 8:27 a.m.

Tags anti-LGBT legislation anti-transgender legislation Kristi Noem Kristi Noem Pierre South Dakota South Dakota transgender sports ban

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