South Dakota advances bill banning transgender girls from women's sports teams

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A South Dakota bill that would ban transgender girls and women from playing on girls and women’s youth and collegiate sports teams in the state advanced in the state legislature Friday, according to reports. 

The Republican-led Senate State Affairs committee approved the bill in an 8-1 vote with an amendment that said any lawsuit brought against an educational institution or employee would be represented by the state’s attorney general at no cost to the defendant, according to the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls. 

Senate Bill 46 would relegate sports team participation to the athlete’s gender assigned at birth, the newspaper reported.

The bill was the first the committee took up this year and has been championed by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem. 

“Allowing males to compete destroys fair competition and athletic opportunities for girls,” Rachel Oglesby, the governor’s policy adviser, told the committee. “Similarly gifted and trained males will always have physical advantages over females.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, July 16, 2021. (Associated Press)

Noem vetoed a similar bill last year, saying it put the state at legal risk from the NCAA but this year she has thrown her full support

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