South Dakota Bill Protecting Women's Rights From Trans Participation In Sports Advances In The Senate

If males are permitted to compete in women’s sports, it will be the end of women’s sports.

The South Dakota Senate State Affairs Committee, which is composed of eight Republicans and one Democrat, has voted to advance a proposed bill protecting women's rights from trans participation in sports. The proposed legislation, which is backed by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, will prohibit biological males from competing against women in women's teams in schools and universities.

According to Breitbart, Senate Bill 46 or "Protecting Fairness of Women's Sports Act" advanced by a committee vote of 8 to 1, with the only Democrat on the committee, Sen. Troy Heinert opposing the legislation. Committee chair Sen. Gary Cammack, Senators Casey Crabtree, Michael Diedrich, Helene Duhamel, Mary Duvall, Michael Rohl, Lee Schoenbeck, and Kyle Schoenfish all voted in favor of the bill.

"Only female athletes, based on their biological sex, may participate in any team, sport, or

athletic event designated as being for females, women, or girls," Gov. Noem's proposed legislation reads. "Biological sex is either female or male as described by the sex listed on the athlete's official birth certificate issued at or near the time of the athlete's birth. The failure to comply with this section is a waiver of sovereign immunity."

If Senate Bill 46 passes the Legislature, it would make South Dakota the 10th Republican state to adopt a prohibition on trans participation in women's sports, ABC News reported. But in two of those states, Idaho and West Virginia, federal judges had halted the laws.

"Allowing males to compete destroys fair competition and athletic opportunities for girls," Gov. Noem's policy advisor Rachel Oglesby argued in front of the committee. "Similarly gifted and trained males will always have physical advantages over females."

Groups that represent public schools balked at the proposed legislation, claiming that politicians are now forcing them to choose between violating state law or federal policy. The Associated School Boards raised concerns about losing federal funding in the event that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found them guilty of violating students' rights.

Gov. Noem acknowledged that schools were being placed at risk, which is why her office amended the bill to require the state to provide legal representation and pay costs of any lawsuits brought about against the schools. The governor's chief of staff, Mark Miller said that the proposed law "complied with the Constitution" and argued that other states have implemented similar laws.

During the committee hearing, Miller argued against trans participation in women's sports, saying that the Supreme Court has already justified the reason behind separating men and women's sports, KELO reported. He argued that women are losing opportunities when trans athletes are allowed to compete in women's sports.

Gregory Brown, a professor of Exercise Science at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, supported Miller's argument, saying that studies show men run 15% to 20% [faster] than girls and women after 11 years of age. He added that science does not support the effects of puberty blockers and other methods of hormone therapy. The professor concluded that Senate Bill 46 will allow girls and women to compete on a level playing field.