Stephen Groves, AP News |
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Monday killed a bill that would have banned transgender women and girls from female sports, then later issued weaker executive orders that include restrictions but which conservatives decried as political face-saving.
Lawmakers in more than 20 states have introduced similar bans this year, with Republican governors in three states — Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi — signing them into law. A federal court blocked a similar law in Idaho last year.
Noem’s partial veto of the bill riled GOP lawmakers and tarnished the Republican governor’s status among social conservatives. Shortly after the bill died, the governor, who has emerged as a prominent national figure in the GOP, issued two executive orders for a ban, but Republican lawmakers said the orders amounted to little more than an effort to salvage her reputation with conservatives.