February 3, 2022 (New York, NY) — Athlete Ally responded to news that today, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill (SB) 46 into law, making South Dakota the first state in 2022 and the 10th state overall to pass legislation banning transgender athletes from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity. This law comes in the wake of two Executive Orders Noem signed last year similar targeting transgender youth in K-12 sports and college athletics, respectively.
“We are in the middle of an all-out attack on transgender youth in this country. We are heartbroken for the young people in South Dakota in the wake of this needless and discriminatory bill,” said Anne Lieberman, Athlete Ally’s Director of Policy and Programs.”SB 46 is a solution in search of a problem. South Dakota is one of many states that cannot provide evidence of trans women and girls creating any issues for cis women and girls in sports or otherwise.
Perhaps most significantly, SB 46 does nothing to actually protect women and girls in sport. That is why leading national women’s organizations including The Women’s Sports Foundation and hundreds of women pro, Olympic and Paralympic women athletes have consistently expressed loud opposition to bills identical to SB 46. And that is also why over one thousand college athletes have signed letters supporting letting kids play sports with their friends and against discriminatory bills like SB 46. We will never stop fighting for transgender youth in South Dakota, and across the country, to be safe, welcome and included in the sports they love.”