Governor finally does the right thing

We believe Gov. Kristi Noem has done a great job in allowing the citizens of our state to make their own local decisions about wearing masks, social distancing, and keeping our businesses and schools open during this past year of the pandemic. As a result, South Dakota emerged in great shape from a 2020 year that could have been an outright disaster, as it has been in so many other states like Illinois, Michigan, New York and California.
Noem was featured on a number of television network news programs and told the story of how she took an approach to trust her constituents to do the right things. There were no mandates of any kind coming out of Pierre as local decisions were left in the hands of local city and school officials. The governor knew a one-size-fits-all statewide mandate of any kind would not work in South Dakota.
Her common sense style of leadership earned her a lot of accolades around the country and is one of the reasons why the state is experiencing such an influx of people looking to escape lockdowns and detrimental mandates in their own states. This past year we have experienced a constant flow of visitors from states near and far who are checking out home ownership possibilities.
Now our high-profile governor is the target of those who questioned her decision to try to modify a transgender bill that would prohibit trans men from participating in female sporting events in the state. Initially, Noem said she would sign the bill when it hit her desk, but backtracked when some in her administration cautioned her on signing the bill because it could have detrimental economic consequences for the state.
It appears that some chamber of commerce folks and big businesses warned her that the state would face a federal lawsuit and would jeopardize future NCAA tournaments in Sioux Falls. The governor said she is attempting to organize some kind of coalition of prominent people and groups around the country that would come together to fight any such lawsuits, should they occur.
Noem should know that a coalition of several states are passing similar laws requiring their athletes to prove their sex at birth in order to participate in sports of their gender. Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee have already passed such laws and there are at least 20 other states looking to pass such legislation, so South Dakota could jump on the bandwagon with them. That would be a considerable number of states to jointly sue the federal government for overstepping its bounds in school sports.
It just makes common sense that males and females should compete in their own gender-at-birth sports. We don't completely understand the governor doing a 180 on this transgender bill that has the support of from 80 to 90 percent of her constituents.
She should have done the right thing in signing the bill passed by the Legislature and stop worrying about the bears in the woods that are not there. Instead, the House overwhelmingly rejected her compromise bill Monday 67-2 that would have required female gender birth certificates for athletes in K-12 sports but not college athletics.
Then the governor turned around and signed two executive proclamations she said were a temporary fix to limit female sports in the state to those who were born female at birth, one for K-12 sports and the second for college sports in the state. She did the right thing, but in a roundabout way. This was done on the last day of the Legislative session when there were no other alternatives.
If and when the state is sued for its stance on this issue, it will have a lot of company with at least two dozen other states that will have passed similar legislation. There is strength in numbers and this is what we will need to fight this ridiculous federal transgender mandate.

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