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Groups send letters to Gov. Noem asking her to veto House Bill 1217

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After being delivered to Governor Noem last week, House Bill 1217 has still yet to be signed.

This is the bill that would prevent transgender women from competing in female sports in the state of South Dakota.

In a group of letters sent to the governor, hundreds of mental health providers, doctors, and faith leaders throughout the state are asking Noem to veto the legislation.

“We got people who are talking about how their faith compels them to oppose this legislation. We got people who are talking about the potential economic consequences of this bill is what compels them to speak out against this it, we got people who are talking about it from a public health perspective medical professionals and councilors,” said Jett Jonelis, Advocacy Manager for the ACLU of South Dakota.

Those in the medical field signed a letter wanting their voice to be heard in issues facing the transgender community.

“Governor Noem may be wavered a bit on her excitement for signing it, maybe this is a moment to really let her hear the voice of the medical professionals in South Dakota Knowing by supporting our transgender kids and women that were supporting all women,” said Dr. Kari Hultgren, a Transformation Project board member.

The letters also mention the economic impact the bill could have saying the bill will bring “inevitable court cases and loss of sports revenue due to violation of NCAA standards.”

Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce also voiced concerns.

“In North Carolina, House Bill 2, known as HB 2 was passed the imitate shock and awe to North Carolina was felt,” said Debra Owen, Director of Public Policy for the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. “Within the first week they lost the NBA All-Star game and that was a $100 million investment in the community that was lost.”

Chamber representatives are also concerned about the impact the legislation could have on businesses relocating to South Dakota.

“Business relocation such as Amazon and others could be in play on this, it’s a grave concern to the Chamber and the Development Foundation,” said Owen.

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