Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order late Monday night banning transgender girls from interscholastic and intermural sports. Noem did this after the House failed to act on her request to amend the anti-trans school sports bill that they sent her to sign.
Noem’s executive order instructs schools that girls must compete in sports as indicated by their original birth certificate or if that isn’t available a signed affidavit indicating their biological sex at birth.
Governor Noem’s second executive order asks instate universities to conform with her order primary school segregation order.
Gov. Noem says she will work with legislative leaders to schedule a special legislative session in late May or early June of this year to resolve the issue through legislation, along with other pending matters in the state.
Dan Swartos, the director of the athletic association for the state, says that since 2013 South Dakota has had a policy that any transgender athlete wanting to play school sports must acquire documentation from their physician that they identify as transgender. Then, an independent hearing officer determines if the athlete has any competitive advantage. Since the policy was instituted, only one transgender girl athlete has been allowed to play girls’ sports in the state.
Noem’s main problem with the bill that the Senate sent her was that South Dakota stood to lose of revenue if the NCAA pulled Championship games out of her state like they did in North Carolina over HB2.
This was seen a face-saving move by human rights activists who said when she was faced with a lose of prestige Noem chose political expediency, prestige, and money over the lives of children.