South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) sent a bill banning transgender women from female sports back to lawmakers for style and form changes.
“Unfortunately, as I have studied this legislation and conferred with legal experts over the past several days, I have become concerned that this bill’s vague and overly broad language could have significant unintended consequences,” Noem said in a statement on Friday.
Noem noted Section 2 of the legislation “requires a student athlete to verify, each year, that the student ‘is not taking and has not taken, during the preceding twelve months, any performance enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids.’”
She argued Section 2 puts “an unworkable administrative burden on schools” by having them collect “verification forms from every student athlete, every year, as to age, biological sex, and use of performance-enhancing drugs.”
Noem expressed concern with the legislation as she does not believe it should apply to the collegiate level.
“South Dakota has shown that our student athletes can compete with anyone in the country, but competing on the national stage means compliance with the national governing bodies that oversee collegiate athletics,” Noem said.
She continued, “While I certainly do not always agree with the actions these sanctioning bodies take, I understand that collegiate athletics requires such a system – a fifty-state patchwork is not workable.”
Noem concluded, “I support this legislation and hope that House Bill 1217, with the changes I am proposing, becomes law.”
I support this legislation and hope that House Bill 1217, with the changes I am proposing, becomes law.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem)
Earlier this month, Noem announced her intention to sign the bill after it was passed by the South Dakota Senate by a 20-15 vote, as IJR reported.
“In South Dakota, we’re celebrating [International Women’s Day] by defending women’s sports! I’m excited to sign this bill very soon,” Noem wrote on Twitter.
Noem’s announcement drew criticism from the Human Rights Campaign, “Trans girls and their families are your constituents. You are using your power to exclude kids and make them feel less than, and that is nothing to be proud of.”