“In South Dakota, we’re celebrating [International Women’s Day] by defending women’s sports! I’m excited to sign this bill very soon,” Noem tweeted on Monday.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 8, 2021
The bill, which would ban transgender women and girls from competing on female sports teams, was passed by the South Dakota Senate on Monday by a 20-15 vote.
The ACLU of South Dakota expressed opposition to the bill and advocacy manager Jett Jonelis testified against it.
“In an attempt to ‘level the playing field,’ House Bill 1217 excludes an entire group of women and girls from meaningful participation in sports,” Jonelis said.
The advocacy manager continued, “House Bill 1217 isn’t about protecting fairness in women’s sports. It’s about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life. It’s about creating solutions to problems that don’t exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable people in our state.”
The Human Rights Campaign also criticized Noem for backing the bill.
The group tweeted, “Trans girls and their families are your constituents. You are using your power to exclude kids and make them feel less than, and that is nothing to be proud of.”
Trans girls and their families are your constituents. You are using your power to exclude kids and make them feel less than, and that is nothing to be proud of. https://t.co/hQA1Faifty
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 8, 2021
A spokesman for Noem told Fox News, “We anticipate that when Governor Noem signs the bill, South Dakota will be the first state this year to pass legislation of this sort.”
She added, “And that’s why he signed that executive order. And in terms of the determinations by universities and colleges, I would certainly defer to them.”
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