Skip to main content
Card Image

SD Gov. Noem vetoes bill to protect women’s sports

Monday, Mar 29, 2021

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner regarding the finalization of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s veto of the Fairness in Women’s Sports bill, H.B. 1217, after the state’s House of Representatives, by a 67–2 margin, rejected her proposed changes Monday because they would have gutted the bill:

“We are profoundly disappointed that Gov. Noem vetoed South Dakota’s Fairness in Women’s Sports bill. The legislation would have protected female athletes at all levels, just as similar laws do in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Idaho. The fact that those states, along with 14 attorneys general, support such laws demonstrates the lack of merit to Gov. Noem’s stated reasons for demanding changes that would have gutted the bill. Not only would her requested changes have left collegiate athletes unprotected, they also would have removed the legal recourse provided to female athletes at any level if their rights are violated. That’s why 47 national and state organizations from the longstanding and broad coalition that has existed to fight for fairness in women’s and girls’ sports—including ADF, Heritage Action, Save Women’s Sports, Family Policy Alliance, and Concerned Women for America—signed an open invitation letter sent to the governor imploring her to support the legislation. While today is a setback for women and girls in South Dakota, we will not stop advocating on their behalf, especially in the face of the ‘woke’ corporate special interests so willing to trample on what female athletes have worked so hard to achieve.”

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.

# # #

Related Resources

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.