South Dakota signs 1st anti-transgender sports law of 2022

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2/4/22

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an anti-transgender sports bill into law Thursday, restricting transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity in public schools and post-secondary institutions. “Thankful to see this bill get support from the legislators and make it to my desk, and that now we will ensure that we have fairness and a level playing field for female athletes here in the state of South Dakota,” said Noem in a press conference after the signing. Senate Bill 46 was introduced less than two months before getting to Noem’s desk. According to the legislation, if a student suffers “direct or indirect harm” due to a transgender student playing in a sport that matches their gender identity, they can pursue legal action against the school, organization or educational agency that caused said harm. For lawsuits brought against schools, organizations and agencies that abide by the new law will be represented by the state’s attorney general. It’s the first anti-transgender bill of the year, according to The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.

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