South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed a law barring trans athletes from competing in girls and women's sports, making South Dakota the 10th state in the U.S. to do so.
Senate Bill 46 is "about fairness," Noem said during a news conference after signing the bill.
"It's about allowing biological females … to compete fairly on a level playing field that gives them opportunities for success," she said during a news conference after signing the bill.
According to Fox News, the governor noted that the bill was based on Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools and other education programs.
"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," she said of the bill last month on Fox News.
Noem came under fire last year for vetoing similar legislation, sending it back to the state legislature with revision requests regarding college sports, which she said would not work for organizations on a national level.
But Noem defended the move last month, arguing that she's been working to push policies to protect girls' sports.
"I did not veto a bill," she explained. "What I did was, I asked my legislature for changes, and they rejected it. So immediately that very same day, I put executive orders in place to protect girls' sports."
Noem's office also pushed back against the criticism that last year's bill would result in lawsuits from the NCAA and put the state at risk of losing the ability to hold nationally sanctioned events.
"Governor Noem is confident that the NCAA will not pull events," Noem's Communications Director Ian Fury told Fox News Digital Thursday. "Look at the states with SEC schools that have passed similar legislation – the NCAA has done nothing to threaten their events."
Noem's signing of the bill makes her the first governor this year to outlaw trans athletes from competing in female sports, NBC News reports. South Dakota is also the 10th state to enact this type of law, following Idaho, Montana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and West Virginia, as highlighted by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP).
The bill is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.