South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Issues Executive Order Barring Transgender Girls From Women’s Sports

Credit: Grace Pritchett


After the House officially vetoed House Bill 1217, which would have barred transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports, Gov. Kristi Noem issued two executive orders that essentially implement the bill. The first order concerns K-12 athletics and the second concerns collegiate athletics.

Noem also announced Monday afternoon that she intends to schedule a special legislative session for either late May or early June to address fairness in women’s sports as well as medicinal marijuana implementation and the state budget.

Noem’s reversal of the legislature’s decision came soon after the House voted 25-24 to override her style and form veto of HB 1217. Before representatives voted, however, the Senate had already adjourned for the last time, effectively killing the bill.

Executive Order 2021-05 states that only females based on their biological sex as reflected on their birth certificate can participate in girl’s athletic events in a K-12 school, and that the state Department of Education shall establish a policy to enforce the order. Executive Order 2021-06 enforces the same principle, but says the Board of Regents “should” take any and all steps to legally implement policies that align with the order, rather than “shall.”

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