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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she would sign a bill limiting female teams and sports at public schools to students who are biologically female after the bill passed the South Dakota Senate 20-15 on Monday.
“In South Dakota, we’re celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by defending women’s sports! I’m excited to sign this bill very soon,” Noem wrote on Twitter on Monday.
State Rep. Rhonda Milstead introduced the bill, which passed the South Dakota House 50-17 in February, according to KOTA TV.
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“We anticipate that when Governor Noem signs the bill, South Dakota will be the first state this year to pass legislation of this sort,” a spokesman for Noem told Fox News.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
The ACLU of South Dakota opposes the bill and sent advocacy manager Jett Jonelis to testify against it.
“In an attempt to ‘level the playing field,’ House Bill 1217 excludes an entire group of women and girls from meaningful participation in sports,” Jonelis said according to KOTA TV. “House Bill 1217 isn’t about protecting fairness in women’s sports. It’s about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life.”
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Further South, the Mississippi House passed a bill 81-28 earlier in March to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls’ and women’s sports teams.
Meanwhile, in February, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended President Biden’s executive order that called on schools across the country to permit students to participate in sports under their chosen gender identity.
When asked by a reporter what Biden’s message was to school officials tackling the disputes regarding transgender and cisgender girls competing together, particularly for college scholarships, Psaki said that “the president’s belief is that trans rights are human rights.
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“And that’s why he signed that executive order,” she said. “And in terms of the determinations by universities and colleges, I would certainly defer to them.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.
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