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‘It’s about girls’ fairness in girls’ sports’ – Noem discusses bill regarding transgender sports ban

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Gov. Noem, Sioux Falls COVID-19 presser

PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) - South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said a bill passed by the Legislature that would restrict girls' teams and sports in public schools to students biologically female isn't about transgender people. Instead, she said the bill has to do with Title IX.

Passing the state senate by a vote of 20 to 15, the bill would require student-athletes to sign a document stating their biological sex.

No transgender girl currently plays in a female high school sports league in the state, according to the high school activities association.

The activities association, which opposes the bill, evaluates applications from transgender girls on a case-by-case basis. They say its process was the best way to support transgender students while maintaining competitive fairness.

"This bill isn't about transgender. It's about girls' fairness in girls' sports. Girls will be able to play in girls' sports. If a girl chooses to want to play in a boys' sport, that is still going to be allowed. There isn't a definition in regards to transgender individuals at all. It is about the fairness of Title IX and how it impacts girls' sports."

In the last 10 years, only one transgender girl has played in girls’ leagues in the state. She has since graduated.

Blake Branch

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