In March 2021, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem initially vetoed the bill that bans transgender girls from female sports teams, saying the version was not written well enough to withstand legal challenges.
But, a few weeks later, she issued two decrees that restricted trans girls’ involvement in sports.
These decrees made it clear that only those who were born in a female body were allowed to join women’s teams, excluding many trans girls from taking part in team sports.
The decrees issued by Governor Noem were highly controversial, with many people believing that they blatantly violated the rights of transgender persons. Despite this backlash, Governor Noem defended her actions, stating that the decrees were necessary to protect the integrity of women’s sports.
A year later, Governor Noem signed the transgender sports ban into law, making South Dakota the first state to pass such a law in 2022. This anti-trans legislation applies to all state-accredited schools, both public and private.
It was a sad day for transgender rights in America, and it was also a sad day for those who believe in the importance of inclusion and diversity.
Such a ban is a huge step backward for transgender people, and in particular for transgender women and girls.
By denying these students the right to compete based on their gender identity, the state is robbing them of fundamental opportunities and rights.
The new South Dakota law will only serve to further marginalize an already vulnerable group of people within society.