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Gov. Noem Announces Fairness in Girls’ Sports Legislation

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 2:11 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (KORA) - Today, Governor Kristi Noem released the text of draft legislation to defend fairness in girls’ sports at both the K-12 and collegiate level. This legislation will codify Governor Noem’s executive orders and extend further protections to women and girls.

“This is about fairness. Every young woman deserves an equal playing field where she can achieve success, but common sense tells us that males have an unfair physical advantage over females in athletic competition. It is for those reasons that only girls should be competing in girls’ sports,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Women have fought long and hard for equal athletic opportunities, and South Dakota will defend them, but we have to do it in a smart way.”

“Only female athletes, based on their biological sex, shall participate in any team, sport, or athletic event designated as being for females, women, or girls,” the legislation reads. The legislation describes “biological sex” as “the sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate issued at or near the time of the athlete’s birth.”

“This legislation does not have the problematic provisions that were included in last year’s House Bill 1217,” continued Governor Noem. “Those flawed provisions would have led to litigation for our state, as well as for the families of young South Dakota athletes – male and female alike.”

Governor Noem previously protected fairness in girls’ sports earlier this year when she signed two executive orders to defend it, both at the K-12 and collegiate levels. Now she is asking the Legislature to put it into law.

Following widespread misconceptions about Governor Noem’s position on this issue, she published an op-ed in National Review to correct the record.

You can read the draft legislation here.

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