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North Dakota’s governor signs a ban on transgender athletes

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North Dakota’s Republican governor, Doug Burgum, on Tuesday night signed into law a bill banning activation of transgender athletes, banning transgender girls and women from joining women’s sports teams in grade 12 and college.

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate passed the bills with non-veto majorities this year. If the governor vetoes bills or refuses to sign them, the bills are more likely to become laws.

At least 19 other states have imposed restrictions on transgender athletes. Republican lawmakers across the US have drafted hundreds of laws this year to push back against LGBTQ+ freedoms, especially those targeting the daily lives of transgender people — including sports, health care, bathrooms, workplaces, and schools.

The Biden administration this month proposed a rule, still facing a lengthy approval process, that would ban explicit bans on transgender athletes.

In 2021, Burgum vetoed a nearly identical bill that would have barred transgender girls from playing on public school girls’ teams. Lawmakers did not have enough votes that year to override the veto.

This year, lawmakers drafted new legislation to replicate and expand that law, including at the college level. These laws are now laws.

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