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Kristi Noem Effectively Kills Legislation to Protect Girls’ Sports

March 29, 2021

Today, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) declined to certify legislation to protect girls’ sports after it was sent back to her by the state legislature which earlier in the day rejected her “style and form” revisions by a 67-2 vote. Her lack of action effectively ensures the bill will not become law.

In response, Terry Schilling, president of American Principles Project (APP), released the following statement condemning Noem’s decision:

“For over a week since she first announced her ‘style and form’ veto, Gov. Noem has been trying to present herself, against all evidence, as a champion for female athletes. She’s held a press conference and launched a website in an attempt to reposition herself as a leader in defending Title IX, despite never having spoken out on the issue before. And she’s repeatedly stated that she would support legislation to protect girls’ sports, as long as a few supposedly small tweaks were made.

“Of course, those tweaks weren’t small — they fundamentally subverted the entire bill. And when the state legislature rightly rejected Noem’s changes, 67-2, she was left with a final choice: back up her claim to be a defender of girl athletes by signing the bill or complete her capitulation to the woke NCAA and activist business interests by letting it die. Unfortunately, she chose the latter, making her the only Republican governor to date to refuse to sign legislation protecting girls’ sport when given the opportunity. So much for leading a coalition.

“There should now be no illusion as to the kind of leader Kristi Noem is. In this past week, voters in her state and nationwide have seen her surrender to the left, engage in political theater to distract from that surrender, and now refuse to change course despite being called out for it. This failure to stand up when it mattered most will define Noem for the rest of her career and will certainly haunt her should she decide to run for any office in the future. Conservatives will not forget it.”

To schedule an interview with an APP policy expert, contact Paul Dupont at (o) 202-503-2010 or pdupont@americanprinciplesproject.org

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