South Dakota Bans Trans Women, Girls From Sports

Written by SK Ashby

Republican-controlled legislatures in nearly two dozen states are considering bills to ban transgender women and girls from youth and college sports, but South Dakota may be the first state to codify it into law.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who recently finished third in CPAC's poll of Republican presidential contenders, says she's excited to sign discrimination into law.

The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem who has said she is excited to sign the bill into law.

"This is a very simple bill. It's a bill to protect women's sports," says Republican State Sen. Maggie Sutton, one of the primary sponsors of the legislation. "It's not against transgenders," Sutton says. [...]

The legislation requires that schools and athletic associations collect written waivers documenting every student athlete's "reproductive biology." There are roughly 40,000 students who compete in sports in the state and critics say the bill violates Title 7 and Title 9 of the Civil Rights Act by discriminating based on sex.

So, in the name of "protecting women's sports," Republicans have passed legislation to scrutinize and document the genitals of every student athlete in the state.

I sat here pondering the implications of this law and all I could ask myself is 'where the fuck do you even start with this?'

Legally, this is a dead end. If it weren't illegal under the Civil Rights Act, it would most likely be unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Banning specific students from sports programs is an even greater affront to civil rights than banning them from the restroom and states that tried to ban transgender kids from restrooms have already been defeated along similar lines. The Supreme Court has already told us how this is going to end with last summer's ruling that "sex" includes gender identity under the Civil Rights Act.

This will end in a court room, but it won't stay there. Morally and socially, this is an abomination. Young transgender women and girls living in South Dakota will live there knowing that their own representatives in the state government hate them. They will live with the stigma of the government trying to erase them from normal public life. One can only hope their fellow students will support them while the geriatrics in the legislature challenge their right to live.

Codified transphobia is merely the last socially acceptable form of homophobia. Go back to the mid-2000s and these bills would be targeted at gay marriage or similar institutions. Different decade, different target for the neverending conservative cultural war.

I expect Republicans will focus most of their attention on efforts like this over the next two to four years because this is all they have. They don't do infrastructure. They don't do health care. They don't do education unless they cut it. Republicans believe their only job once they're in control of government is to own the libs and oppress minorities.