Kristi Noem of South Dakota, one of America’s most beloved governors, shockingly withdrew support for her state’s GOP-backed bill that would ban biological males from competing in girls’ sports in federally-funded schools.
To Republicans’ surprise, the governor refused to sign House Bill 1217 as it is written on Friday after initially vowing to do so amid the Biden administration’s push to allow transgender “women” to compete with biological females and vice versa.
Noem said she sent the bill back to be revised with specific recommendations for “style and form,” reassuring constituents that she is not backpedaling on her vow to protect women’s rights.
The governor wants the language of the bill to be more specific, adding protections for sports in grades K-12, but excluding collegiate sports—which she plans to tackle separately as the NCAA is a national body.
But many conservatives and advocacy groups do not accept her explanation.
Michael Farris, head of Alliance Defending Freedom, slammed Noem’s move, “She was considered a shining star in the GOP with a bright future. No more,” he continued, “We don’t need leaders who lack the courage to stand up to the corporate bullies who want to turn our country into an amoral wasteland filled with compliant consumers,” the Associated Press reported.
Following immense backlash from conservatives and advocacy groups, Noem explained her position during a Tucker Carlson segment Monday night.
Tucker Carlson and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem debate her decision to send a bill to ban biological men from playing girls sports back to the state legislature:
TUCKER: "You caved to the NCAA."
GOV. NOEM: "Im not interested in picking a fight [in court] that we can’t win" pic.twitter.com/rgWAUIUcCh
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 23, 2021
“The bill that my legislature gave me is a trial lawyer’s dream. It creates more and more litigation and regulation that’s impossible to comply with for families and for school districts and people going forward,” she said.
Later in a statement on Twitter, she added that the bill as written would require student athletes to submit verification forms on an annual basis stating their age, biological sex, and use of performance-enhancing drugs. Schools would be required to closely monitor these forms throughout the year in the event that “reasonable cause” is “found of a false or misleading form, the school can take action to avoid civil liability.”
Otherwise, the schools, sports teams, and fellow athletes could all be potentially liable to a transgender student who decided to sue for discrimination.
Noem said the bottom line is, “What I’m interested in doing is making sure we’re protecting girls’ sports and we’re going forward to fight the NCAA.”
“And what we’re going to do as well, is if they [state legislators] don’t fix this through the style and form revision, I’m going to ask them to introduce a new bill,” she contended. “If they don’t do that, I’m going to immediately bring them back into a special session and tell them we’re gonna protect girls sports through K-12 and then we’re gonna go and fight the NCAA through a coalition to make sure that we’re going to continue to protect Title 9 and defend Title 9.”
Noem’s unexpected move came as a surprise to many, but after a deeper look into her reasoning, it seems substantiated.
The South Dakota governor remains committed to promoting women’s rights in public schools despite a radical, progressive presidency. If Noem’s bill is revised and passes, South Dakota will be the second state behind Mississippi to ban transgender students from competing in sports leagues opposite of their biological sex.