South Dakota is set to keep biological girls playing against biological girls and biological males playing against biological males at all levels of school sporting events after a new bill passed the state’s House of Representatives in a decisive vote.
Senate Bill 46, titled An Act to Protect Fairness in Women’s Sports, was first introduced in the state Senate on Jan. 11 before passing by a vote of 26 to 7 on Jan. 19. The bill, which came to a final vote in the House on Feb. 1, where it passed by an overwhelming 50 to 17 margin, now heads for Governor Kristi Noem’s desk for signature.
SB46 specifically requires all levels of school sports to bracket competitions based on the biological sex denoted on an individual’s birth certificate, and especially requires that, “Only female students, based on their biological sex, may participate in any team, sport, or athletic event designated as being for females, women, or girls.”
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Noem is likely to sign the bill considering Jan. 23 comments on the legislation given to Fox News prior to debate and voting in the House where she stated, “This is about fairness…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.”
According to Feb. 1 reporting by Breitbart, Gov. Noem vetoed HB1217, an ostensibly similar bill on the same topic, last year over concerns about the reach of the government in the bill and some of its provisions.
The most notable differences between the two bills, according to Breitbart, are that HB1217 “relied on a written statement from a child’s parents confirming their biological sex and that they had not taken any performance enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids.”
SB46, by comparison, relies completely on the sex denoted at the time of issuance of the birth certificate.
While HB1217 also did not define what “performance enhancing drugs” were, the consideration was entirely removed from SB46.
Moreover, SB46 removed provisions from the vetoed bill that allowed students who were blocked from competing in the opposite gender’s brackets to sue for pain and suffering. Instead, they can only request injunctive relief from courts.
Additionally, while HB1217 would have required schools to foot the costs and efforts of defending themselves from lawsuits over the act, SB46 will have the State handle litigation.
According to website Mitchell Republic, the House also passed HB1005 the same day by a 38 to 29 vote, which will keep school toilets pure based on biological sex alone.