South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem drew the ire of conservatives in her own state and around the country when she refused to sign a bill earlier this month prohibiting biological males from competing in sporting events established only for biological females.
That really caught a lot of conservatives off guard because a) Noem is a solid conservative on virtually every issue and especially social issues; and b) she had previously pledged to sign it.
She announced that she would send the measure back to the state legislature for “style or form” changes (basically a veto) because she did not want to be sued by the NCAA or see South Dakota collegiate athletes frozen out of competition.
However, many accused her of kowtowing to the NCAA while ignoring her constituents.
She went on Tucker Carlson’s show last week to try and explain — and Carlson was tough on her — but her explanation seemed to fall flat so she gave it another shot in a column at the National Review that was published Tuesday.
“Since November, my team and I have worked to find the best way to defend women’s sports effectively — not just to feel good, but to do good,” Noem wrote. “We have to be able to win in court.”
“It is for that reason that I asked the South Dakota state legislature to make revisions to HB 1217,” Noem wrote. “As passed, this bill was a trial lawyer’s dream. It would have immediately been enjoined had I signed it into law, meaning that no girls in South Dakota would have been protected.”
Again, critic claim she bowed to pressure from the NCAA. But after the bill died, so to speak, Noem signed a pair of executive orders that implement the most important aspects of the legislation.
The Rapid City Journal reports:
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 also pledged to call a special session of the legislature in May or June to revisit the legislation and get it crafted in a manner she feels the state can defend legally.
In her op-ed, she reiterated that she wants to sign a bill banning boys from girls sports as other states have done.
“Only girls should play girls’ sports. That fact should be obvious to everyone, and majorities of virtually every voting demographic agree with legislation to protect women’s sports,” she wrote.
“This issue is very personal to me. I’ve been a student athlete. Thankfully, I was never a 15-year-old girl forced to shower next to a 17-year-old boy. My daughters both played collegiate sports. Thankfully, they were never subjected to that either. My older daughter, Kassidy, is pregnant with a baby girl right now. I want to ensure that my granddaughter has the same opportunities that I had and that my daughters had,” Noem added.
“Conservatives should not doubt my desire to fight on this issue. … This fight is too important to lose.”