North Dakota governor risks wrath of Trump and right after vetoing transgender kids sports bill
The move, which was finalized on Wednesday, echoes a similar motion made earlier this year by Governor Kristi Noem in neighboring South Dakota.
Her North Dakota counterpart Doug Burgum pulled the trigger on the proposal this time around, after it had originally passed overwhelmingly in the state's House.
In the state Senate, though, the margin was much slimmer - which led analysts to suggest that the measure is likely finished as both houses would have to pass a veto override to overturn Bergum's action.
Gov. Doug Burgum has officially vetoed HB 1298, which restricts transgender girls’ participation on public school sports teams, and HB 1323, which prohibits statewide mask mandates. pic.twitter.com/4Kojki8buZ— Maddie Biertempfel (@mbiertempfel) April 22, 2021
Republican Bergum said that the bill "would unnecessarily inject the state into a local issue by creating a ban with myriad unforeseen consequences" in a veto message, with members of his own party such as the vilified Kathy Skroch a known supporter of it.
"We need to keep women on an even playing field," she had said previously in a debate on the matter, while noting differences between the sexes in height, weight, heart size and lung capacity.
"There is a reason why there is separation of boys and girls sports," she added.
BREAKING: North Dakota Gov. Burgum has vetoed #HB1298, allowing trans kids to continue participating in sports according to their gender identity.Trans kids belong in sports. Trans kids belong everywhere. #LetKidsPlay— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) April 22, 2021
But those in support of what Bergum has done were quick to sing his praises.
"It was obvious from the beginning that this discriminatory legislation was about creating solutions to problems that don’t exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable people in our state," said ACLU of North Dakota Campaigns Director Libby Skarin.
"This is such beautiful news for trans kids across the state," she concluded.
I am just stunned that ND Gov. Burgum vetoed HB 1298. This is such beautiful news for trans kids across the state. SO many amazing advocates have worked so hard to make this happen. #NDleg— Libby Skarin (@LibbySkarin) April 22, 2021
Though it is still early in the day for Burgum to receive backlash, it won't be too far away considering attacks that Governor Noem, also a Republican, was subjected to from the right over in South Dakota when carrying out a similar reversal.
Down in Arkansas, her counterpart Asa Hutchinson even ended up in a war of words with former President Donald Trump when scrapping a transgender bill earlier this month.
"Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN," Trump said as part of a statement. "Bye-bye Asa, that's the end of him!"
REPORT: Former President Donald Trump Issues Statement On #Arkansas Governor @AsaHutchinson Vetoing HB1570, “Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas just vetoed a Bill that banned CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN. ‘Bye-bye Asa,’ that’s the end of him!” pic.twitter.com/VklhpdXRtu— John Basham 🇺🇲 (@JohnBasham) April 8, 2021