Athletes in primary schools and colleges in South Dakota will have to compete in sports with peers of their own gender if Gov. Kristi Noem signs legislation that lawmakers in both state chambers have passed.
South Dakota’s House of Representatives, in a 50–17 vote on Tuesday, approved the bill, Senate Bill 46.
No Democrats voted for the bill and 10 Republicans voted against it.
The state’s upper chamber passed the legislation in January with a 26–7 vote.
The bill says that any sports teams at schools must be based on the biological sex at birth of the participating athletes. If a team is designated a girls team, for instance, biological boys will not be allowed to participate.
It was introduced at the request of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican.
“This is about fairness,” Noem said during a recent appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is about making sure that our girls have a chance to be successful and to compete, to win scholarships, potentially go on to play professional sports beyond that. We want them to have the opportunity to do that.
“Title IX fought for that years and years ago and I’ve been doing this for years, which started, man, almost five years ago now in the sport of rodeo, where we protected girls’ events,”