S.D. (KCAU) — Opponents of a controversial South Dakota bill banning transgender athletes from competing in sports that match their gender identity in South Dakota may be feeling a bit of relief Thursday night as the Governor’s “Fairness in Girls’ Sports” measure has been put on hold for now.
Representative Rhonda Milstead offered an amendment to the bill this afternoon that would allow athletes to sue for damages.
Representative Steven Haugaard then used a procedural move, to allow members an intervening day to consider the amendment.
The governor’s bill states that athletes may only compete on teams based on their biological sex.
Governor Noem defended the measure gain today.
“This issue girls playing in girls sports is a fairness issue it’s about title 9 defending the opportunity to have a level playing field for our girls to compete,” the governor said.
The fairness in women’s sports bill has created a lot of conversation surrounding Title 9.
Proponents said the bill defends Title 9, while the ACLU and South Dakota High School Activities Association said it places South Dakota in violation of the law, and the U.S. Constitution.
“Many federal courts that have looked at the issue, and importantly like you noted, the federal government, interprets Title 9 and Title 9’s prohibition on sex discrimination, as including discrimination against people because they’re transgender,” said the campaigns director for the ACLU of South Dakota, Libby Skarin.
Other states with either legislation or executive orders concerning bans and transgender athletes include Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Flordia, Idaho, West Virginia, Montana and Tennessee.