BREAKING: Gov. Noem Signs Anti-LGBTQ Executive Orders as Trans Sports Ban Fails in South Dakota

by Wyatt Ronan

SOUTH DAKOTA — This afternoon, immediately following the South Dakota’s legislature’s decision to kill Gov. Kristi Noem’s style-and-form veto of HB 1217, the anti-transgender sports ban bill that she had previously expressed excitement about signing, Gov. Noem released two anti-transgender executive orders. Noem’s decision exposes South Dakota to the economic, legal, and reputational threats that political action can have on other states that are looking to pass similar anti-trans legislation and executive orders.

The two executive orders, Executive Order 2021-05 and 2021-06, would ban trans girls and women from participating in sports from kindergarten through college. South Dakotans have been justifiably concerned about the financial and reputational threats of an unnecessary legal battle in their state.

Rather than listening to the experts, families and business leaders in South Dakota who have pushed back against the legislature’s attempts to pass HB 1217 over the past few weeks, Gov. Kristi Noem clarified her anti-transgender agenda by signing two executive orders this afternoon. Numerous federal courts have found that transgender students are included under Title IX. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court confirmed this summer in the Bostock ruling that transgender people are covered by existing federal non-discrimination law. Noem’s executive orders show where her true priorities lie — playing politics with childrens’ lives in the middle of a pandemic. These orders cannot withstand legal scrutiny. Transgender kids are kids, and they deserve the right to live full lives free from abuse, stigmatization, and danger.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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