Gov Kristi Noem Signs Bill Banning Transgender Athletes from Female Sports in South Dakota

South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem has finally signed a bill into law that bans transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

The new law forbids biological male athletes, who “identify” as female, from participating in girls’ and women’s school sports.

Gov. Noem’s signing of the bill comes after earlier efforts to pass the legislation fell short.

However, the controversy has recently deepened due to reports of transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas.

Thomas has been smashing women’s records this year despite competing as a male for the last three years.

The NCAA even changed some rules, which they never do, that may bar Thomas from dominating the championships in March.

And Thomas’s teammates do not think the biological male should swim in the championships in March either.

16 of them took the extraordinary step of sending a letter to the NCAA asking them to uphold the new rule that would stop Thomas from winning all the medals in March.

“If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete,” the athletes wrote.

Kristi Noem said: “This bill’s about fairness.

“It’s about allowing biological females in their sex to compete fairly in a level playing field that gives them opportunities for success.”

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The bill will take effect from July 1 and applies to all state-accredited schools. It mandates that sporting teams only accept students whose “biological sex” at birth is female.

South Dakota is the 10th state to enact such a law, including Florida, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

“At a time when young people are facing an unprecedented need for support, it is devastating to see politicians instead invent new ways to exclude them,” Sam Ames, the director of advocacy at The Trevor Project, said.

From The Hill:

Sixteen members of the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swimming and diving team said the NCAA’s recent update to its policy for transgender athletes, which may bar trans swimmer Lia Thomas from competing in the athletic association’s championships in March, should be upheld.

“We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman.

Lia has every right to live her life authentically,” the athletes wrote in a letter Thursday to school and Ivy League officials obtained by the Washington Post.

“However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity.

Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female.”

“If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete,” the athletes wrote.

The letter was unsigned and was sent by Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a 1984 Olympic swimming gold medalist and chief executive of Champion Women, a women’s sports advocacy group.

She sent the letter on the swimmer’s behalf because they had been told they “would be removed from the team” or “never get a job offer” if they spoke out against Thomas’ inclusion in women’s competition, according to the Washington Post.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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