South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has vowed to defend state laws after the U.S. Department of Education proposed changes to Title IX rules that would allow biological men who identify as female to compete against women.
Noem said she will fight the administration in court, tweeting, “South Dakota will not allow this to stand. We will lead. We will defend our laws. Only girls will play girls’ sports.”
The proposed changes would clarify Title IX’s application to sex-related criteria that limit or deny a student’s eligibility to participate on a team that aligns with their gender identity.
The proposal would provide clarity for students, parents, and coaches on when and how transgender students can participate in school sports.
However, Noem and other Republicans argue that the changes would harm women’s sports by allowing biological males who identify as female to compete against biological females, giving them an unfair advantage.
This is not the first time Noem has taken a stance on transgender issues in her state. Earlier this year, she signed the “Help Not Harm” bill, which prevents minors from receiving surgical and medical procedures that assist in changing their gender appearance.
Noem has been vocal in her support for protecting children from irreversible medical procedures that could cause harm to their future health and well-being.
The proposed changes to Title IX have garnered criticism from those who argue that biological males competing in female sports is unfair to biological females and could potentially harm the safety and fairness of women’s sports.
However, others argue that transgender individuals should have the right to compete on a team that aligns with their gender identity to promote inclusivity and fairness.