North Dakota governor signs bills into law barring biological men from women’s sports

Doug Burgum
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capitol on April 10, 2020, in Bismarck, North Dakota. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

North Dakota governor signs bills into law barring biological men from women’s sports

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North Dakota joined a growing list of states seeking to bar biological men from women’s sports.

On Tuesday, Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) signed into law two bills that ban biological men who identify as transgender women from participating in girls and women’s sports from kindergarten through college in North Dakota.

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“Thoughtful debate over policy in this area should involve the pursuit of two goals: to continue to ensure fairness in North Dakota girls sports and demonstrate compassion and understanding for all North Dakota youth,” Burgum said in a statement.

House Bill 1249 preserves athletics for girls and boys under traditional Title IX protections,” he added. “House Bill 1489 applies similar protections to women’s athletics at the collegiate level.”

Burgum also said the new laws support current North Dakota High School Activities Association rules.

“The legislature has now resoundingly determined that restrictions beyond the 2022 NDHSAA rules for girls sports should be codified in state law,” the governor stated, noting the new law preserves “athletics for girls and boys under traditional Title IX (sex discrimination) protections, while also providing clearer definitions and removing administrative uncertainty by shifting the appeals process from NDHSAA to the courts.”

The bills passed North Dakota’s legislature with veto-proof majorities before heading to Burgum’s desk.

With the new laws, North Dakota joins Florida, Texas, and 18 other Republican-led states that have placed similar bans on transgender women’s participation in girls and women’s athletics, according to the Movement Advancement Project.

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In 2021, Burgum vetoed a bill limiting transgender athletes’ participation in sports.

Earlier this month, the governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed teachers the right to refuse to use the preferred pronouns of transgender students and staff, claiming that it would make teachers the “pronoun police.”

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