PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday said she will sign a bill to bar transgender girls and women from participating in female sports leagues. However, whether it ultimately takes effect in the state will likely be decided in federal court. No transgender girl or woman currently plays in a female sports league in South Dakota, according to the high school athletics association. “I’m excited to sign this bill very soon,” Noem tweeted minutes after it passed in the Senate. She described its passage as a celebration of International Women’s Day and a defense of women’s sports.
While proponents cast it as a way to “promote fairness in women’s sports,” Republican Sen. V.J. Smith labeled it as a “political statement” that would drag the state into a looming legal battle as lawmakers in 20 states weigh similar legislation.
“The decision is going to be made in federal court,” said Smith. “It’s not going to be made in the state senate of South Dakota.”
Only one state, Idaho, has enacted a law curtailing trans students’ sports participation, and that 2020 measure is blocked by a court ruling.
A Senate committee dominated by Republicans last week had rejected the bill, with senators reasoning that its passage would bring up a broad range of problems for the state – from the NCAA potentially shying away from hosting tournaments, to legal challenges for discrimination and the administrative burden of collecting proof of every high school athlete’s sex at birth.
Posted by The Washington Times