Coalition Of Major Organizations Demands Kristi Noem Reverse Course On Trans Sports Bill

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Leaders representing a coalition of nearly a dozen national conservative groups signed a letter to South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday demanding that she reverse course on a transgender sports bill she vetoed this month.

The “Fairness in Women’s Sports” Act, was sent back to the legislature with a “style and form” veto two weeks ago after the Republican governor declared on International Women’s Day her excitement to sign the bill passed on March 8. The bill would have barred biological males from competing in women’s sports.

In response to woke corporate interests launching a behind-the-scenes campaign to sink the bill for fear of economic retaliation, Noem made revisions to the legislation that gut its effectiveness. Noem axed provisions applying the law to institutions of higher education and eliminated enforcement mechanisms at the K-12 level.

The letter, signed by 11 national organizations joined by community leaders across 35 states including South Dakota, targeted Noem’s defensive claims that the law would provoke an avalanche of unwinnable litigation while the governor launches her own coalition to defend women’s sports in an effort to save face. Such a coalition, however, the signers point out, already exists.

“You recently announced your intent to form a ‘coalition to defend Title IX’ in conjunction with your surprising decision to use a ‘style-and-form veto’ on HB 1217, a bill that would ensure South Dakotan K-12 and collegiate female athletes have a level playing field in theirs sports and that they have recourse against unfair policies that force them to compete against biological males,” the groups wrote. “We are already part of a large coalition defending female athletes across the country.”

The letter comes as South Dakota’s Republican Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch recommended colleagues reject Noem’s changes, which were discarded by the lower chamber Monday afternoon by a 65-vote margin. Only two South Dakota representatives approved them.

Lawmakers in Idaho, Mississippi, and Arkansas have signed legislation similar to the original bill shot down by the South Dakota Republican governor, who rose to GOP stardom during the coronavirus pandemic for her refusal to ever implement draconian lockdowns in her state.

Noem now stands at risk of losing her support among grassroots conservatives as she prepares for a possible presidential run in 2024, where the decision to torpedo a popular sports proposal is likely to haunt her in any future political ambitions.

A poll out early this month from the Morning Consult with Politico found broad popularity for transgender sports bans that mandate athletes compete in leagues according to their biological sex.

According to the survey of 1,990 registered voters conducted March 6-8, 53 percent of respondents supported such a policy, while only a third remained opposed.

A closer examination of the survey results reveals that the only subgroups with majority support for the proposal are Democrats and Gen Z voters, both within the 2 percent margin of error.

President Joe Biden put the issue of transgender athletes competing in the leagues of their choice front and center on day one in office, when he signed an executive order to strip federal funding from institutions that prohibited males from participating in women’s leagues.

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