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Give credit where it’s due. Governor Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) just introduced very strong draft legislation to defend women’s sports. The bill would protect the integrity of both K-12 and college athletics, while explicitly tying the definition of “sex” to an athlete’s original birth certificate. 

The operative language:

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“Only female athletes, based on their biological sex, may participate in any team, sport, or athletic event designated as being for females, women, or girls. For purposes of this section, biological sex is either female or male as described by the sex listed on the athlete’s official birth certificate issued at or near the time of the athlete’s birth.”

The bill also gives parents and students the right to sue schools or athletic associations that allow men to compete in women’s sports. American Principles Project (APP) has advocated for implementing private rights of action into a number of different bills spanning numerous issues, and there’s a reason for it: civil liability is an incredible enforcement mechanism that strongly incentivizes compliance with the law.

If Governor Noem gets this done, South Dakota would become the tenth state to defend women’s sports. Noem would be joining a coalition of courageous governors including Brad Little of Idaho, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Jim Justice of West Virginia, and Ron DeSantis of Florida. The early action of these governors helped pave the way for more states to follow suit in protecting women during next year’s legislative sessions. We expect to see women’s sports bills introduced, and hopefully passed, in at least a dozen states in addition to South Dakota in 2022. 

We hope that governors will likewise be emboldened to continue the fight against the evil gender ideology being forced on America’s children by joining Arkansas and Tennessee in banning the chemical castration and surgical mutilation of minors suffering from gender dysphoria. This next phase will require tremendous political courage, and we hope that Republican governors across the country will step up to lead that fight.

Author: Jon Schweppe

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