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Noem releases ad touting transgender athlete ban in girls' sports
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) released an ad on Wednesday promoting a transgender athlete ban on girls' sports as the bill makes it way through the state legislature.
"In South Dakota, only girls play girls' sports. Why? Because of Governor Kristi Noem's leadership," the ad says, which does not use the word "trans" or "transgender."
"Noem has been protecting girls' sports for years and never backed down," the ad continues.
The ad said that the legislation would give the state "the strongest law in the nation" for protecting girls' sports.
"Noem's steady, conservative leadership doesn't win headlines, it wins results," the ad says.
Noem tweeted the ad out on Wednesday, saying in an associated post that it would be airing that night on prime-time news programs across the U.S.
On Friday, the GOP-backed Senate State Affairs committee passed Noem's legislation, which would prohibit female school sports teams from allowing transgender women and girls to play on those teams, The Associated Press reported.
The issue of transgender athletes participating on sports teams that align with how they identify has been considered a lightning rod issue for conservatives, especially in the case of transgender athletes playing on female sports teams.
Conservatives argue that transgender athletes may pose unfair physical advantages over cisgender athletes, while transgender advocates argue that the legislation would unfairly target students who want to play on sports teams that match their gender identities.
"Instead of prioritizing the actual needs of constituents, the South Dakota legislature kicked off its legislative session by trying to ban trans girls from playing sports," leading LGBT organization the Human Rights Campaign tweeted on Friday. "Our legislators should help our community - not harm us. #LetKidsPlay #sdleg."