South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a
Republican, on Monday issued a pair of executive orders that ban
transgender girls and women from competing on women's sports teams.
The orders affect transgender athletes
in high schools and colleges.
Noem had originally said that she
supports legislation blocking transgender athletes but vetoed a bill
approved by lawmakers, sending it back for revisions. Lawmakers,
however, killed the measure.
Dakota Governor Kristi Noem won't sign transgender sports bill.)
In her so-called “Form and Style”
veto, Noem criticized House Bill 1217 for its “vague and overly
broad language,” saying it could have “significant unintended
Among her proposed changes, Noem asked
lawmakers to remove college athletes from the ban.
CNN reported that while Noem's orders
do not explicitly mention transgender athletes, “they reference the
supposed harms of the participation of 'males' in women's athletics.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, said in a statement that
Noem's orders were unconstitutional.
“Numerous federal courts have found
that transgender students are included under Title IX,” said HRC
President Alphonso David. “Additionally, the United States Supreme
Court confirmed this summer in the Bostock ruling that
transgender people are covered by existing federal non-discrimination
law. Noem’s executive orders show where her true priorities lie –
playing politics with childrens’ lives in the middle of a pandemic.
These orders cannot withstand legal scrutiny. Transgender kids are
kids, and they deserve the right to live full lives free from abuse,
stigmatization, and danger.”
have approved similar laws this legislative session. A
judge has blocked enforcement of a similar law approved last year in