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Noem says athletes harmed by transgender sports law can take case to court

Gov. Kristi Noem signs Senate Bill 46, an act to 'protect fairness in women's sports.'
Lee Strubinger
Gov. Kristi Noem signs Senate Bill 46, an act to "protect fairness in women's sports."

Governor Kristi Noem is signing a bill she says will protect fairness in girls sports.

The law ultimately bans transgender girls from playing on certain sports teams.

It says only female students, as determined at birth, can play in women’s athletics.

Noem says girls accused of not having the sex that’s listed on their birth certificate will have to take their case to court.

“Girls will have the opportunity—if they’re not allowed to play—to have litigation with the school in order to be able to have the opportunity to compete. That is the avenue they have,” Noem says. “To build their case. Make their case and get the chance to play on that team.”

Critics of the law say it could lead to false accusations against female athletes who do not fit into neatly defined gender roles.

The ACLU of South Dakota says the law is a violation of federal and constitutional law.

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.