South Dakota Gov. Noem hesitates on bill to ban transgender women from female sports

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Nearly 10 days have passed since a bill that would ban transgender girls and women from female sports in South Dakota hit Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk.

The staunch Republican and former Donald Trump ally said she was "excited" to sign the bill into law after the state’s Senate passed the measure on March 8.

But since receiving the bill on March 10, Noem has yet to sign it into law -- signaling her enthusiasm for the measure has changed.


"We're still looking at it, and I probably, in the next two to three days, will come to a decision," Noem said in a Thursday interview with local news outlet, the Argus Leader. "It's a complicated bill, even in that there are parts of it that aren't written so well."

Fox News could not immediately reach Noem for comment on what in the legislation is giving her pause, but similar bills have popped up across the country.

The U.S. has seen 42 bills attempting to bar transgender women and girls from participating in women's sports introduced in 26 states this year, an LGBTQ advocacy group, Freedom for All Americans, confirmed for Fox News.

This year’s legislative efforts are nearly double the number of measures introduced in 2020 and a significant increase in the two bills put forward in 2019.

If Noem decides not to sign South Dakota’s latest bill on transgender participation in athletics, the state House and Senate would need a two-thirds majority to override her veto -- a requirement that could prove a challenge for state Republicans.


The state’s House passed the bill in February with strong support in a 50-17 vote. But the Senate proved more divided with a 20-15 vote, falling short of the needed two-thirds majority to bypass the governor.

Caitlin McFall Fox News