Trans people belong everywhere – including sports. But does that mean that trans people should be used in a game of political football?
Gov. Kristi Noem and eight of her fellow Republican governors are urging the NCAA to rewrite its Transgender Student Athlete Policy in a letter sent yesterday to the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.
The ACLU of South Dakota condemns this letter, calling it little more than political grandstanding.
The following statement can be attributed to Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager:
“Whatever Gov. Noem and this letter’s cosigners might say, this isn’t about leveling the playing field for student athletes or protecting fairness in women’s sports. If it were, these governors would be tackling the actual threats to women’s sports such as severe underfunding, lack of media coverage, sexist ideologies that suggest that women and girls are weak, and pay equity for coaches and players.
“This letter to the NCAA is just another attempt to erase transgender people from society while stirring up support from their base of anti-trans activists with fear-mongering tactics and discriminatory rhetoric that harm some of the most vulnerable people in our state.”
About the ACLU of South Dakota
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.