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Noem proposes 'fairness in girls' sports,' ACLU says she's targeting transgender athletes

Office of Governor Kristi Noem
Office of Governor Kristi Noem
Gov. Kristi Noem.

South Dakota lawmakers will consider a transgender-athlete bill again this winter.

Governor Kristi Noem is revealing draft legislation. She says her bill ensures “fairness in girls' sports.”

The legislation says sports at schools and universities must be designated as female, male or co-ed. It says only female athletes can participate in female sports. And it says an athlete’s biological sex is the sex listed on the athlete’s original birth certificate.

Lawmakers passed similar legislation last year, but Noem issued a partial veto and the bill died. She said some sections of the bill were legally problematic. Noem says her new legislation does not contain those problematic sections.

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota opposes the new bill. The organization call the legislation “an attack on transgender women and girls.”

Lawmakers will consider the bill when they meet for their annual session beginning next month in Pierre.

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