Burgum in his veto message to Speaker Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, said “North Dakota today has a level playing field and fairness in girls’ sports.”
“North Dakota has fairness in girls’ and boys’ sports in large part because of the caring and thoughtful leadership of the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA) Board and its members,” Burgum said. “We have every confidence they will continue to ensure a level playing field for the more than 27,000 students who participate in North Dakota high school sports.”
Burgum also said “to date there has not been a single recorded incident of a transgender girl attempting to play on a North Dakota girls’ team. Further, the NDHSAA already has regulations in place for participation in sex-separated interscholastic contests by transgender students.”
The North Dakota Human Rights Coalition and Tri-State Transgender issued a statement Wednesday commending Burgum for his veto. The move “sends a loud message to other lawmakers across the country considering similar legislation: Stop the attacks on transgender youth,” Tri-State Transgender President Katrina Koesterman said.
ACLU of North Dakota Campaigns Director Libby Skarin in a statement said she was “thrilled” with the veto.
“Nobody wins when politicians try to meddle in people’s lives like this,” she said. “Nobody wins when we try to codify discrimination like this.”