South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will be signing a bill that would ban biological males from competing in women’s athletics.
The bill, titled Women’s Fairness in Sports, passed the Senate with a 20-15 vote, will ban transgender women athletes from participating in women’s sports.
South Dakota will be joining a handful of other states that have banned transgender women from participating on women’s sports.
The ACLU of South Dakota strongly opposed the bill, sending advocacy manager Jett Jonelis 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,” Jonelis said according to KOTA TV. “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 High School Activities Association, the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, the South Dakota Board of Regents, the School Administrators of South Dakota, and The Transformation Project also joined the ACLU in opposing this bill.
“We anticipate that when Governor Noem signs the bill, South Dakota will be the first state this year to pass legislation of this sort,” said a spokesman for Noem to Fox News.
The Mississippi House passed a bill similar to South Dakota’s 81-28 earlier this month. These bills were introduced in a response from an executive order signed by President Biden, which called on schools across the country to allow students to participate in sports under whatever gender they wish.
Idaho bans transgender females from participating women’s sports under a law passed in July 2020. The state also banned individuals changing the sex listed on their birth certificates.