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Gov. Kristi Noem says she’s “grateful” to sign the first anti-trans law of 2022

Gov. Kristi Noem
Gov. Kristi NoemPhoto: Matt AJ/via Wikipedia

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed the first anti-trans bill of 2022 into law yesterday.

S.B. 46 bans transgender girls and women from participating in schools sports as their gender in public schools and universities in the state.

Related: Gov. Kristi Noem issues threat to trans students just in time for Christmas

The bill passed the state legislature earlier this week and Noem announced that she signed it yesterday at a brief ceremony where she said she was “grateful” to the legislature for passing it.

Most of her comments at the ceremony, though, were about other bills, including one to ban “critical race theory” in schools. Critical race theory is a school of legal thought that argues that racism is perpetuated even by seemingly-neutral institutions like the law and is a systemic, not individual, failing. Noem claimed that that bill would also ban colleges from teaching about critical race theory, which teaches white kids that they are personally responsible for slavery.

While Noem said that the transgender bill would protect “a level playing field” for girls, many girls are going to be negatively affected by it if their only choices are to compete on boys’ teams or not at all.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order saying that Title IX, which bans sex-based discrimination in education, protects LGBTQ students from discrimination because it’s impossible to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation without taking sex into account.

The Biden administration has already helped in the legal fight to overturn anti-trans sports bans by arguing that such laws violate Title IX.

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