North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, a
Republican, on Wednesday vetoed a bill that sought to ban transgender
girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender
Burgum said he vetoed House Bill 1298
because it was unnecessary.
“North Dakota has fairness in girls'
and boys' sports in large part because of the caring and thoughtful
leadership of the North Dakota High School Activities Association
(NDHSAA) Board and its members," Burgum said. "We have
every confidence they will continue to ensure a level playing field
for the more than 27,000 students who participate in North Dakota
high school sports."
According to The
Bismarck Tribune, transgender students must undergo hormone
treatment for one year to participate in sports teams.
"To date there has not been a
single recorded incident of a transgender girl attempting to play on
a North Dakota girls' team. Further, the NDHSAA already has
regulations in place for participation in sex-separated
interscholastic contests by transgender students," Burgum said.
According to The Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, 66 similar bills
have been introduced in legislatures across the country.
“Governor Burgum heard the loud
voices of the general public including transgender people and their
families, medical experts and the business and sports communities
coming together to oppose anti-transgender legislation,” HRC
president Alphonso David said in a statement. “Public polling
clearly shows that a vast majority of Americans, including 66% of
Republicans, oppose this anti-transgender sports ban legislation.”
majority of Republicans oppose anti-transgender bills, poll finds.)
“Further, these bills have dire
consequences for transgender kids, who experience heightened levels
of anxiety, depression, dysphoria, and suicidal ideation. Governor
Burgum recognized – as we hope other governors will – that these
bills also have severe implications for states that pass enact this
legislation, from economic consequences to taxpayer funded litigation
to reputational damage. Transgender kids are kids and they deserve
every opportunity that any kid does. Transgender kids and all North
Dakotans will be better off because of Governor Burgum’s decision
The bill did not clear the Senate with
a veto-proof majority.