South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she is “excited” to sign a bill the ACLU calls “anti-trans.” “GREAT NEWS! The South Dakota Senate just passed the Women’s Fairness in Sports bill, 20-15,” the American Principles Project, a conservative organization that has also campaigned against same-sex marriage and abortion rights, tweeted on Monday. “It now heads to @govkristinoem’s desk for signature.” Noem, a Republican and vocal Trump supporter, replied by tweeting, “In South Dakota, we’re celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by defending women's sports! I’m excited to sign this bill very soon.”
But the ACLU says the bill, which would restrict trans students from playing on teams that match their gender identities, “aims to ‘promote fairness in women’s sports’ yet would actually undermine sports for all people, harm athletes who are transgender, and cost South Dakota millions of dollars all in the name of ‘problem solving’ where a problem doesn’t actually exist….South Dakota already maintains separate sports teams for boys and girls and has a policy for including transgender athletes consistent with gender identity. There has been *no* dominance by transgender athletes, no threat to sports, and no other problems in the over 6 years since the policy was adopted.”
Other, similar bills have been struck down in federal court, such as Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which was blocked last August by U.S. District Court Judge David Nye.