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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem continued to maintain she is in the right after a bill protecting women’s sports in South Dakota suffered a disappointing death on Monday.

Noem returned the legislation with a style-and-form veto, but the legislature rejected it 67-2. Numerous family groups across the country criticized Noem for the bill’s final fate, as she refused to certify the legislation after it was sent back to her.

Despite the criticisms, Noem is vowing to work with legislative leaders to schedule a special session in late May or early June to address the issue — in addition to medical marijuana and the latest federal spending package.

“Only girls should play girls’ sports,” Noem said. “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.”

Noem’s executive order addressing K-12 competition can be found here.

Her executive order states that in South Dakota, only females, based on their biological sex, as reflected on their birth certificate or affidavit provided upon initial enrollment, shall participate in any girls’ or women’s athletic event sanctioned by a public school, a school district or an association.

Her executive order on college athletics can be found here.

It reads similar, but is for events sanctioned by an institution of higher education under the control of the Board of Regents.

House Speaker Spencer Gosch, a Republican, said that while Noem’s letter to the House may have said she hasn’t vetoed the bill, “her actions said otherwise.”


Author: Jacob Hall