South Dakota advances bill banning transgender girls from women's sports teams
A South Dakota bill that would ban transgender girls and women from playing on girls and women’s youth and collegiate sports teams in the state advanced in the state legislature Friday, according to reports.
Senate Bill 46 would relegate sports team participation to the athlete’s gender assigned at birth, the newspaper reported.
The bill was the first the committee took up this year and has been championed by Republican Gov.
"Allowing males to compete destroys fair competition and athletic opportunities for girls," Rachel Oglesby, the governor's policy adviser, told the committee.
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Troy Heinert, a Democrat and the only "no" vote, said the bill would leave transgender children feeling unwelcome.
Jennifer Phalen, a mother of a transgender girl who wants to do gymnastics, told the committee, "Passage of this bill would directly hurt children.
It would directly hurt my daughter and take away her freedom to participate in activities with her peers."
Proponents of the bill say transgender women have biological advantages over biological women in physical competition while opponents have claimed it has been a nonissue in the state and the bill could leave schools vulnerable to legal challenges.
The state’s high school activities association said it already assesses transgender athletes on a case-by-case basis and has policies in place to assure fair competition.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPSouth Dakota would be the 10th Republican state to pass a transgender sports ban if the bill passes.
The bill will next have a hearing on the Senate floor, which could happen as soon as next week, the Argus Leader reported.