Two Controversial Laws Passed! Trans in Sports…

On Tuesday night, Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota signed two laws that restrict transgender athletes from participating in sports teams designated for girls and women in elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education. The laws received overwhelming support in both the House and Senate, making a veto impossible. Even if Governor Burgum had vetoed the statutes, they would likely have passed.

Governor Burgum stated that after two years of high school sports in North Dakota, there had been no incidents of biological males playing or requesting to play on girls’ teams. However, the state legislature has determined that further limits on girls’ sports beyond current standards should be written into law.

While concerns have been raised about restrictions compromising the ability to organize regional and national collegiate competitions, Burgum noted that such issues have not materialized in approximately 20 other states that have approved similar laws.

At least 19 additional states have banned transgender individuals from participating in sports. Republican politicians across the United States have introduced hundreds of bills to counteract LGBTQ+ rights, with many of these bills specifically targeting transgender rights in areas such as sports, healthcare, restrooms, the workplace, and educational institutions.

In an effort to prevent blanket bans on transgender athletes, the Biden administration proposed new regulations last month. However, the regulations must undergo a lengthy approval process before they can take effect.

In 2021, Governor Burgum rejected a law that prevented transgender students from participating in female school sports teams, as there were not enough votes in the House or Senate to overturn the veto. This year, new legislation was drafted to make that statute applicable to higher education institutions.