North Dakota Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Transgender Athletes from Competing in Girls’ Sports
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum vetoed a bill this week that would have banned transgender girls from participating in girls' sports.
According to Fox News, the bill initially passed in the North Dakota House and the Senate. Both the House and Senate would have to vote to override the veto for the bill to pass.
Burgum said that he vetoed the bill because "the bill would unnecessarily inject the state into a local issue by creating a ban with [a] myriad [of] unforeseen consequences."
"To date, there has not been a single recorded incident of a transgender girl attempting to play on a North Dakota girls team," Burgum said in the veto message, a local news station reported. "Further, NDHSAA already has regulations in place for participation in sex-separated interscholastic contests by transgender students. These regulations require transgender girls to undergo testosterone suppression treatment ... for a full calendar year before they are eligible to compete."
Republicans in North Dakota argued that there needs to be a level playing field for girls in sports.
"We need to keep women on an even playing field," Rep. Kathy Skroch, a Republican, said during House debate on the bill. "There is a reason why there is separation of boys and girls sports."
Opponents of the bill, however, called the bill "discriminatory."
"It was obvious from the beginning that this discriminatory legislation was about creating solutions to problems that don't exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable people in our state," ACLU of North Dakota Campaigns Director Libby Skarin said Wednesday night.
Skarin also tweeted her praise of the governor's decision to veto the bill.
"This is such beautiful news for trans kids across the state," she said.
This is not the first proposal on transgender students in sports that has come across a state governor's desk. In Arkansas, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson also vetoed a transgender bill in his state. The bill would have banned hormone treatments and other medical interventions for transgender youth.
Hutchinson called the bill "overboard" and "extreme."
Photo courtesy: Jonathan Chng/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.