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Kristi Noem Claims ‘Biological Sex’ Bill Will Ensure ‘Basic Fairness’

Kristi Noem Claims ‘Biological Sex’ Bill Will Ensure ‘Basic Fairness’

South Dakota Govenor Kristi Noem is pushing a new piece of legislation to discrimnate against transgender students and athletes. Like so many similar pieces of legislation across the nation, it’s written to bar trans athletes in K12 schools and colleges from competing on gendered teams according to their correct gender.

[Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images]

So, what is “biological sex” anyway? The medical journal The Lancet explains that it’s not as simple as people often pretend or believe. While people often boil ‘sex’ down to genital presentation, or presumed genital presentation based on secondary sex characteristics (from facial hair to breast tissue), the truth is, it’s just more complicated than that. External genitals, secondary sex characteristics, internal reproductive organs, and chromosomes don’t necessarily ‘line up’ in the binary form that people imagine.

However, Noem is making a departure from some such bills, by not relying on any such characteristic — genital presentation, internal reproductive organs, sex chromosomes, or any other biological feature — instead, it will be based on what was originally printed on the individual’s birth certificate.

Noem seems to think this dodges the issue of discrimination, saying “This legislation does not have the problematic provisions that were included in last year’s House Bill 1217. Those flawed provisions would have led to litigation for our state…”

However, the bill that she claims supports “basic fairness” and ensures “that only girls are playing girls’ sports,” clearly bars a subset of girls from girls’ sports, while also banning trans boys from boys’ sports.

This bill comes despite numerous debunkings of false claims that trans althetes make sports ‘unfair’ for women.

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