General News

South Dakota to ban trans athletes from school sports

Rachel Badham March 30, 2021

Gov. Noem

South Dakota is likely to become the next US state to ban trans athletes from participating in school sports, after governor Kristi Noem said she intends to issue two executive orders to “protect fairness” in women’s sports. According to The Independent, Noem initially rejected House Bill 1217 for being overly vague regarding the use of steroids, but has now made it clear that she intends to bar trans athletes from school sports, tweeting: “Only girls should play girls’ sports.”

She continued: “Given the legislature’s failure to accept my proposed revisions to HB 1217, I am immediately signing two executive orders to address this issue: one to protect fairness in K-12 athletics, and another to do so in college athletics.” The developments in South Dakota come only days after Arkansas became the second state to officially ban trans inclusion in school sports this year, with governor Asa Hutchinson saying it will “promote and maintain fairness in women’s sporting events.”

Over 25 states are currently considering bills which aim to limit trans youth. Any laws against trans inclusion in school sports contradict an executive order issued in January by president Joe Biden, which prohibits discrimination against trans students, thus ensuring them access to single-sex spaces and sports facilities. States which continue to discriminate against trans youth could risk the loss of federal funding.