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UPDATE, March 29, 2021, 7:11PM EST: Following publication of this report, a veto override vote failed in the South Dakota House 45-24.

PIERRE, March 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has effectively vetoed legislation ensuring that female students will only have to compete against other females in athletic programs, while issuing a statement attempting to deflect blame for the bill’s defeat onto the state legislature.

HB 1217 affirms that a “team or sport designated as being female is available only to participants who are female, based on their biological sex.” On March 8, Noem declared she was “excited to sign this bill very soon,” hailing the defense of women’s sports as a worthy cause to highlight on International Women’s Day.

However, following a barrage of media and corporate pressure, Noem reversed herself at the last minute, announcing on March 19 she was sending the bill back to the legislature over sudden reservations about its “vague and overly broad language” and suggesting various “style and form” changes. 

Those changes, which would make the bill harder to enforce at the high school level and exempt the collegiate level entirely, didn’t sit well with most conservatives, whom Noem tried and failed to mollify by announcing a “Defend Title IX Coalition” — effectively a petition which carries no legal force, but does help Noem collect contact information for future mailing lists.

The South Dakota House “resoundingly” rejected Noem’s “style and form” changes Monday morning, the Argus Leader reports, with only two members voting in favor of them.

“Every single day I focus on waking up and doing what’s best for this state and the families here, building strong families and giving them opportunities,” Noem told the paper. “It seems strange this has gotten to be a bit of a personal attack on me from several legislators.”

In response to the vote, Noem sent a letter to House leaders confirming that the bill is effectively vetoed, while claiming that the legislature’s refusal to make her recommended changes are what vetoed it, rather than her rejection of the bill:

“There should now be no illusion as to the kind of leader Kristi Noem is,” American Principles Project (APP) president Terry Schilling responded. “In this past week, voters in her state and nationwide have seen her surrender to the left, engage in political theater to distract from that surrender, and now refuse to change course despite being called out for it. This failure to stand up when it mattered most will define Noem for the rest of her career and will certainly haunt her should she decide to run for any office in the future. Conservatives will not forget it.”

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PETITION: Biological males don't belong in girls' sports - #IStandWithSelina
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UPDATE (1/29/21) - On day one of the new administration, Biden signed an Executive Order dismantling girls sports, and allowing biological boys back into girls locker-rooms.

The order declares: "Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the rest room, the locker room, or school sports. . . . All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation."

This affront to reason effectively signals an end to girls' and women's sports, and diminishes their effort to compete on a level playing field.

Though this petition has already been delivered once, we will deliver new signatures to the US Dept of Education when restrictions permit, in honor of Selina Soule, who filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in 2019.

UPDATE (5/29/20) - US Dep’t of Education: Letting males compete in girls’ sports violates female athletes’ civil rights

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-dept-of-education-letting-trans-boys-compete-in-girls-sports-violates-female-athletes-civil-rights

UPDATE (2/13/20) - Selina Soule and two other Connecticut high school girl track athletes, Alanna Smith and Chelsea Mitchell, have sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) to stop boys who claim to be girls from competing in their sport.

Soule is the same high school girl who, last year, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). That complaint is still ongoing, as the OCR has not yet handed down its guidance ruling.

This also explains why this petition is still ongoing. Please SIGN and SHARE.

But, with another track season soon coming to an end, the girls' attorneys have asked the Court for an injunction that would stop the CIAC from implementing its current policy while the lawsuit proceeds.

Soule, Smith, and Mitchell will soon run in regional and state meets, competing for state championships. This year, they would like to have the opportunity to win, fair and square.

Please learn more about the latest news concerning this case, here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/three-girls-sue-state-to-stop-boys-who-say-theyre-girls-from-competing-in-their-sport

Then, please SIGN this petition. Thank you!

________________________________________________________________________

Selina Soule is a female athlete who now must compete against biological males because of Connecticut's policy requiring that boys who identify as girls be admitted into girls' sports competitions.

But, when boys compete in girls' sports, they win because they have a natural advantage. It's scientifically proven, and it's also common sense.

This crushes the motivation of the biological girls who have worked hard to compete on a level playing field, only to enter into competitions which they can never win, despite all of their efforts.

It also puts girls into harm's way in contact sports, AND it deprives female athletes of their right to fairly compete for college scholarships and other accolades.

This is wrong! And, that's why this URGENT petition supports Selina and all the other female athletes out there, who have put in the hours on the track or on the court.

Please SIGN this common sense petition supporting Selina Soule's complaint to the Dept of Education's Office for Civil Rights, against Connecticut's discriminatory policy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/high-school-girl-files-federal-complaint-for-having-to-race-boys

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/boys-claiming-to-be-girls-are-dominating-girls-sports-these-girls-are-fighting-back

https://www.middletownpress.com/middletown/article/Federal-agency-to-investigate-CT-transgender-high-14300744.php#photo-18068164

*Above photo credit: Michael Goodin / The Daily Signal

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LGBT activists claim it’s “discriminatory” to reserve female competitive sports for actual females, but science confirms that “trans women” (i.e., biological men) retain distinct physical advantages through which they can deprive actual female athletes of recognition and scholarship opportunities intended to advance girls.

In a paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men (do) not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy”; therefore, “the advantage to transwomen (biological men) afforded by the (International Olympic Committee) guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

During a Senate hearing on the LGBT lobby’s so-called “Equality Act” earlier this month, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) noted that the speed of world record-holding runner Florence Griffith Joyner, while still unmatched by female successors, was surpassed by 76 American high-school boys in 2019 alone.

Prior to Noem’s decision, a coalition of 47 national and state policy leaders sent a letter warning the governor that “gutting the bill doesn’t help anyone win—it sends South Dakota and their girls and women back to the sidelines and sends the wrong signal to others across the country in the fight to save girls’ and women’s sports.”

“Your version of the bill would hand South Dakota’s collegiate female athletes—and a say in your state’s governance—to the NCAA on a silver platter,” the letter noted. “Why should collegiate females face injustice for achieving the honor of college-level competition?”

Despite the veto, HB 1217’s fate is not yet sealed. APP’s director of policy and government affairs Jon Schweppe reports that the state legislature is currently weighing its options, and may be able to override Noem’s veto. Two-thirds of each chamber must vote yes to override a veto in South Dakota; the bill originally passed by more than enough votes in the House but would need an additional four votes in the Senate.

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