North Dakota Republican gov. vetoes bill to protect girls’ sports
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BISMARCK, North Dakota, April 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Another Republican governor has just vetoed legislation that would have ensured female students would only have to compete against other actual females in athletic programs, this time in North Dakota.
House Bill 1298 would have banned K-12 public schools in the state from “knowingly” allowing male students to play on teams meant specifically for girls, as well as provided for an interim study on the legislation’s impact on student athletics.
But Gov. Doug Burgum vetoed the bill Wednesday, claiming North Dakota already enjoys a “level playing field and fairness in girls' sports,” and saying “there has not been a single recorded incident of a transgender girl attempting to play on a North Dakota girls' team.”
He also credited the North Dakota High School Activities Association, which opposed HB 1298, for already having rules in place governing the subject. Those rules allow biological males who “identify” as female to compete against females upon “completing one calendar year of documented testosterone-suppression treatment.”
“Gov. Burgum showed his hand and his priorities by cowering to the bullies instead of standing with female high school athletes,” responded Linda Thorson, state director of Concerned Women of America (CWA) North Dakota, which supported the bill. “By vetoing HB 1298, Gov. Burgum disregarded science and common sense and over 50 years of hard-fought battles by women to have their own athletic opportunities.”
CWA is currently urging state residents to contact their legislatures in hopes of overriding the governor’s veto. The bill passed the state House with a wide enough majority to do so, but additional Senate support would need to be gained.
LGBT activists claim it’s “discriminatory” to reserve female competitive sports for actual females, and conservatives argue that forcing girls to compete against boys deprives the former of recognition and scholarship opportunities that were originally instituted to advance girls academically and professionally.
Further, scientific research indicates that testosterone suppression does not eliminate all the physical advantages that come with male physiology.
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.”
Burgum’s veto comes weeks after South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem vetoed a similar bill in her own state, despite having previously told the public she would sign it into law.