SD Gov. Kristi Noem Passes Executive Orders To Protect Girls Sports in School and College


After the South Dakota legislature rejected her suggested revisions for a piece of legislation to protect girls’ sports under Title IX, Republican Governor Kristi Noem is taking matters into her own hands and issuing a pair of executive orders that would require public school and college athletes to play on teams according to their biological sex.

“Only girls should play girls’ sports. Given the legislature’s failure to accept my proposed revisions to HB 1217, I am immediately signing two executive orders to address this issue: one to protect fairness in K-12 athletics, and another to do so in college athletics,” Noem said in a Monday tweet regarding the bill.

“Additionally, I will be working with legislative leaders to schedule a special legislative session in late May or early June,” she added. “The special session will address this important issue, as well others (medicinal marijuana and the latest federal spending package.)”

Gov. Noem’s move follows the legislature’s “failure to override Noem’s own veto of the measure that would have made it illegal for both college and high school athletes from playing in sports designated that don’t align with their biological sex,” according to The Argus Leader:

Noem is directing the Department of Education to create policy banning transgender girls from playing K-12 sports designated for girls, while the second order encourages the state’s Board of Regents, which oversees public universities, to do the same but only so far is it won’t jeapordize the state’s standing with organizations like the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which has inclusion policies allowing transgender athletes to play in sports of their choosing.

Gov. Noem stated that her executive orders are a “temporary” fix to an ongoing issue of fairness in sports until a special session can be held where the Legislature could put similar directives into state law.

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