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SD Gov. Noem guts protections for women athletes to placate nat’l corporate interests

Friday, Mar 19, 2021

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner regarding South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s decision Friday to only partially agree to a bill passed by the legislature to protect females competing in sports:

“Today, Gov. Noem proposed changes to House Bill 1217 that would eliminate protections for female college athletes outright and gut the ability for all women and girls to have recourse against unfair policies in women’s sports. Her misguided attempt to play politics and placate national corporate interests like Amazon is not what we would have expected from this governor. It’s surprising that Gov. Noem, who once stood up to special interests and corporate woke-ism, has now bowed to them. Contrary to what she has been told, this bill doesn’t conflict with any national sports policy and is fully consistent with the intent of Title IX. Offering some protection for high-school-girl athletes only delays the injustice they will face once they get to college. We call on the governor to withdraw her recommended changes and sign the bill passed by the legislature.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Kristen Waggoner

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as general counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner oversees the U.S. legal division, a team of 100 attorneys and staff who engage in litigation, public advocacy, and legislative support. ADF has represented the prevailing parties in multiple U.S. Supreme Court victories, including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, which she argued at the Supreme Court. She also served as counsel in the free speech victory the Supreme Court handed down in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. She is a Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ attorney in Martindale-Hubbell, who clerked for Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington Supreme Court after law school and served in private practice in Seattle for nearly 20 years. Waggoner is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.