South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to Sign Bill Keeping Girls’ Sports to Biological Females

In this Feb. 7, 2019 file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, …
Pat Eaton-Robb/AP Photo

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will sign a bill keeping girls’ and women’s sports to biological females only.

“In South Dakota, we’re celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by defending women’s sports! I’m excited to sign this bill very soon,” Noem announced Monday on Twitter on Monday:

State Rep. Rhonda Milstead (R-Minnehaha) introduced House Bill 1217, which the South Dakota House passed in a 50-17 vote in February, KOTA reported.

Not everyone was in support of the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Dakota sent its advocacy manager to testify 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,” Jett Jonelis said, according to KOTA. “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.”

South Dakota may be on its way to becoming one of the first states to pass legislation of this sort, but other states are not too far behind.

In Mississippi, its state House passed a bill banning transgender athletes from playing on girls’ and women’s sports teams. The Montana House passed a similar bill.

President Joe Biden opposed a bipartisan effort to protect women’s sports, according to a statement from the White House on Monday.

“He believes transgender rights are human rights and wants to see kids have the opportunity to play sports and participate in a range of activities,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

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