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Firebrand South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is hitting back at President Joe Biden and his proposed changes to Title IX rules that would ban colleges and high schools from banning biological men who are transgender from competing against women.
“The U.S. Department of Education (Department) proposes to amend its regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) to set out a standard that would govern a recipient’s adoption or application of sex-related criteria that would limit or deny a student’s eligibility to participate on a male or female athletic team consistent with their gender identity,” the Department of Education said, Fox News reported.
“The proposed regulation would clarify Title IX’s application to such sex-related criteria and the obligation of schools and other recipients of Federal financial assistance from the Department (referred to below as ‘recipients’ or ‘schools’) that adopt or apply such criteria to do so consistent with Title IX’s nondiscrimination mandate,” it said.
But Gov. Noem said that she will fight the administration in court to prevent biological males from playing against biological females.
“South Dakota will not allow this to stand. We will lead. We will defend our laws. Only girls will play girls’ sports,” she said. “President Biden, we’ll see you in Court.”
South Dakota will not allow this to stand. We will lead. We will defend our laws. Only girls will play girls’ sports.
President Biden, we’ll see you in Court. pic.twitter.com/Irv03aMEp9
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) April 6, 2023
The White House defended the action in a press release on the proposed rule changes.
“Today, the U.S. Department of Education is releasing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on athletic eligibility under Title IX to advance Title IX’s longstanding goal of ensuring equal opportunity in athletics. During the two years of outreach to stakeholders to develop this proposed rule, the Department heard repeatedly that many schools, students, parents, and coaches face uncertainty about when and how transgender students can participate in school sports, particularly because some states have chosen to adopt new laws and policies on athletics participation that target transgender students. The NPRM, if adopted as a final rule, would provide much needed clarity for students, parents, and coaches,” the White House said.
“Participation in school athletics is an important component of education and provides valuable physical, social, academic, and mental health benefits to students. The proposed rule affirms that students benefit from the chance to join a school sports team to learn about teamwork, leadership, and physical fitness. The proposed rule would establish that policies violate Title IX when they categorically ban transgender students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity just because of who they are. The proposed rule also recognizes that in some instances, particularly in competitive high school and college athletic environments, some schools may adopt policies that limit transgender students’ participation. The proposed rule would provide schools with a framework for developing eligibility criteria that protects students from being denied equal athletic opportunity, while giving schools the flexibility to develop their own participation policies,” it said.
“Every student should be able to have the full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination. Being on a sports team is an important part of the school experience for students of all ages,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said. “Beyond all the benefits to physical and mental health, playing on a team teaches students how to work hard, get along with others, believe in themselves, and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. Today’s proposed rule is designed to support Title IX’s protection for equal athletics opportunity. We welcome and encourage public comment on the proposed regulation and will continue working to ensure Title IX’s effective protection for all students.”
This year Gov. Noem signed legislation named “Help Not Harm” bill, which prohibits some surgical and medical procedures for transgender minors.
“South Dakota’s kids are our future,” she said when she signed the legislation in February. “With this legislation, we are protecting kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures. I will always stand up for the next generation of South Dakotans.”
The legislation was introduced in January by state Republicans that prevents minors from getting puberty-blocking drugs, hormone therapies and surgeries that assist the minor in changing their gender appearance.