PIERRE, S.D.(DRG News)- More than 500 college athletes have signed a letter to the NCAA Board of Governors asking the organization to refuse to schedule championships in states that have banned transgender participation in sports. The letter to the NCAA asks the board to uphold the organization’s nondiscrimination policy, citing the decision to move championships out of North Carolina in 2016 in response to a bill that legislated transgender use of public restrooms.
This week, South Dakota lawmakers passed a bill (House Bill 1217) barring transgender girls and women from participating in female sports leagues.
Gov. Kristi Noem says the bill is about protecting women’s sports.
On Monday– which was International Women’s Day– Noem posted a message on her Twitter account saying she is “excited to sign this bill very soon.” At a news conference Thursday, she said she’s reviewing the bill.
Similar legislation passed during Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s tenure and he ultimately vetoed the bill after meeting with transgender advocates. Currently, Noem says she doesn’t have a similar meeting on her schedule.
The ACLU of South Dakota, South Dakota High School Activities Association, the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, the South Dakota Board of Regents, the School Administrators of South Dakota and The Transformation Project all opposed the bill.
If signed by Noem, whether HB1217 ultimately takes effect in the state will likely be decided in federal court.