Skip to content

ADF: SD Gov. Noem should join other governors and get serious about real reform instead of dodging potential conflict

WATCH: Selina Speaks up for Female Athletes on the Today Show

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner regarding South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s press conference Monday regarding her decision to illegitimately use her “style and form” veto power to gut the Fairness in Women’s Sports bill, H.B. 1217:

“For years, courageous female athletes like Selina Soule and Chelsea Mitchell have been in the arena, fighting for a fair and level playing field for female athletes. ADF and a large coalition of athletes, legislators, governors, attorneys general from 14 states, and many others have been honored to stand with them in both the courts and legislatures. While we appreciate that Gov. Noem has now taken an interest in coalitions aimed at protecting girls and women’s athletic opportunities, she is not only late to the game, but she is now trying to play coach.

“Gov. Noem has offered a hollow substitute for the urgent protections for women’s sports that the South Dakota Legislature sent to the governor’s desk in the form of H.B. 1217. By stalling her support, attempting to dodge the legal conflict, removing protections for collegiate athletes, and eliminating a female athlete’s legal remedy when her rights are violated, Gov. Noem, through her actions, has downplayed the injustices that girls and women are already facing when they are forced to compete against males.

“The truth is, Gov. Noem has taken the legal teeth out of this bill and her hands are not tied by any NCAA policy, like she’s claimed. She has the ability and the opportunity to be a serious champion for girls and women, and we hope she does so by signing the legislation, which demonstrates real courage and seriousness in addressing the challenges facing a rising generation of young women. If Gov. Noem is concerned about litigation, as she said today, ADF would stand with her to defend H.B. 1217 if she signs this legislation.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.


# # #