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Senate passes Gov. Noem bill that prevents transgender girls from playing girls' sports

Lawmakers on the Senate floor
Lee Strubinger
Lawmakers on the Senate floor

Senate Republicans are passing a bill that prevents transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports.

The bill was introduced by Governor Kristi Noem, who is championing the issue after vetoing a similar bill last year.

The Republican governor experienced national social conservative backlash for the move.

Noem has said boys and girls are biologically different and girls’ sports need protection to ensure a level playing field.

Her bill requires students to perform on teams consistent with the sex listed on their original birth certificate. The bill would only affect girls’ sports.

A clause in the legislation says the state will represent and cover the legal fees of any school district or university sued because of the law. The bill sailed through the Senate chamber by a vote of 26 to 7, with two excused.

House Republicans are supportive of the concept. A similar bill is introduced in that chamber.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.