SD Governor files bill to protect girls' sports

AP Photo/Stephen Groves File

Previously, the South Dakota legislature had approved a bill that would have limited participation in girls’ and collegiate women’s sports to females as determined by their biology. In a controversial move, Republican Governor Kristi Noem wound up vetoing that bill, despite the fact that she had previously been a vocal advocate of protecting girls’ sports and preventing unfair competition from males “identifying” as females. She did issue some executive orders to that effect, however, focused on K-12 students rather than college athletics. Now that the legislature is back in session, Noem has released a new bill aimed at achieving the same goals, saying that this version will address the shortcomings she found in the previous one. (Fox News)

Gov. Noem, R-S.D., details plan to protect girls sports at the K-12 and college level in order to provide an equal playing field.

As more colleges see transgender athletes winning in girls sports, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem joined ‘Fox & Friends’ Friday to provide details on her state’s new legislation to protect girls’ sports.

KRISTI NOEM: There are very physical differences between males and females. And that is one of the issues that we’re talking about, the biological differences and making sure that we’re protecting girls’ sports so that girls have a level playing field, they have the opportunity to be successful. And that’s something that was fought for many years ago. We here in South Dakota will protect that right, for boys to play in boys’ sports and girls should play in girls’ sports.

Noem released a preview of the new legislation last week, describing the problematic aspects of the previous bill and how she plans to address them. She felt that the K-12 issue was easier to address at the state level, but collegiate rules were more complicated. Because of liberal policies adopted by the NCAA in this regard and South Dakota colleges having to compete against schools from other states, the original bill would have left the state open to endless litigation and costly lawsuits.

Now a couple of things have changed which Noem believes will render this new solution more viable. First, more states have stepped up to support similar measures, not leaving south Dakota dangling in the wind by itself. Also, the new bill includes provisions to minimize the risk of nuisance lawsuits. One of these provides colleges with legal recourse if adherence to the policy “prompts retaliation from athletic organizations and other entities.” The bill also allows students to sue if they are negatively impacted by violations of the policy.

Noem also clarified that her objections to the previous bill were based on anticipated court action against the state. By combining K-12 and colleges in a single law, any challenge from the NCAA or similar sports authorities could lead to protections for K-12 girls being suspended along with the college provisions. But now that she feels that the NCAA concerns have been addressed, the entire package can move forward with her support.

We’ve covered the obvious advantages that males have over females in athletics here more times than I can count, so I won’t bother with another grand tour of all of those cases. But the timing of this move by South Dakota is conspicuous because it’s coming at the same time that headlines across the country are featuring transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ “dominance” at the University of Pennsylvania and the protests that have come from other members of the women’s swim team and their families. Thomas is being hailed as a hero on the left but may wind up being one of the decisive figures that help put an end to these unfair practices.

You can watch the interview below.