South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced last Sunday she is ready to sign the recently passed Senate Bill 46, or the Fairness In Women’s Sports Act. The Bill bans biological males from competing in women’s sports in the state of South Dakota. The Bill recently went through the South Dakota House on Tuesday, passing through the chamber with flying colors. The final vote total was 50 to 17 — a resounding victory for the Republican majority.
This past weekend, Governor Noem went on Fox News Sunday and praised the Bill. Noem, who has consistently opposed transgender participation in women’s sports, killed a bill in March 2021 that would have had a similar effect. Instead, she opted for a weaker set of executive orders which significantly restricted the participation of biological men in women’s sports.
Many ripped the move as a face-saving measure — avoiding the full weight of the monumental responsibility that comes with the bill. However, Noem defended herself in the Fox News interview, saying she did not veto the bill — she merely kicked it back to the legislators for alterations. This move vindicates her favorable opinion towards bills of like quality, given the similarity between this bill and the bill she killed last year. With that context provided, she then launched into her considered defense of the bill. Here is a transcript of the interview:
“This is about fairness. This is about making sure that our girls have a chance to be successful and to compete. To win scholarships. To potentially go on and play professional sports beyond that. We want them to have the opportunity to do that. Title IX fought for that years and years ago. I’ve been doing this for years, which started, man, almost five years ago now in the sport of rodeo where we protected girls events. So now I’m bringing a bill to the legislature that will be the strongest bill in the nation in protecting fairness in girls’ sports. I’m hopeful that my legislators will support it.”
As we noted earlier, the vast majority of Legislators did support the effort, voting for the bill yesterday. In a similar manner, the South Dakota House voted on another transgender bill — House Bill 1005. This bill limits bathroom and locker-room access to only those who were assigned the relevant sex at birth — whether that be male or female. This motion passed 38-29 and the bill will be considered by a Senate committee, in keeping with the legislative process.