The Bill That Would Ban Transgender in Girls’ Sports Was Vetoed by Governors

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"IMG_1987" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Elena Pleskevich

On Wednesday, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum vetoed a bill that would ban transgender girls from playing in girls’ sports. This move was made after a similar step was made by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem earlier this year. 

In the North Dakota House, the bill that would ban transgender girls from playing in girls’ sports was overwhelmingly passed. However, the margin was much slimmer in the state Senate, meaning the measure will more likely die and both the Senate and the House have to vote for a veto override for it to be a success. 


Burgum, a Republican, stated in a veto message that the State’s high school sports association should be the organization that should decide on how to keep a level playing field. The governor also mentioned that “the bill would unnecessarily inject the state into a local issue by creating a ban with myriad unforeseen consequences.” 

Burgum added in the veto message, “To date, there has not been a single recorded incident of a transgender girl attempting to play on a North Dakota girls team. 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.”

“We need to keep women on an even playing field,” Rep. Kathy Skroch, a Republican, said during the House debate on the bill.

Skroch also noted differences between women and men in height, weight, heart size, and even lung capacity. “There is a reason why there is the separation of boys and girls sports.”

Meanwhile, opponents of the bill lauded Burgum’s decision and slammed Republican legislators for pushing for the bill that would ban transgender girls from playing in girls’ sports. 

ACLU of North Dakota Campaigns Director Libby Skarin said Wednesday night, “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.”

Noem, a Republican received harsh criticism from the right after she vetoed a similar bill that was passed by South Dakota’s Republican-controlled legislature. She later issued two executive orders aimed at keeping only biological females on girls’ sports teams in both high school and college.

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also was criticized for a veto of another transgender-related bill in his state. Hutchinson vetoed a bill that would have banned hormone treatment and other medical interventions for transgender youth. 

Hutchinson said on Fox News’, “This is the first law in the nation that invokes the state between medical decisions, parents who consent to that and the decision of the patient. And so, this goes way too far. And in fact, it doesn’t even have a grandfather clause [for] those young people that are under hormonal treatment.”

He stated that the bill was “overbroad” and “extreme.” Due to Hutchinson’s move, former President Trump slammed Hutchinson over the decision. 

Former President Trump said earlier this month, “Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN, Bye-bye Asa,’ that’s the end of him!”