Burgum vetoes transgender sports & mask mandate bills

BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR) – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has vetoed a bill not allowing transgender girls to compete on girls’ teams in public school sports and another banning state-issued mask mandates.

In a letter to Republican Speaker of the House Rep. Kim Koppelman of West Fargo, Burgum said the transgender sports bill assumes North Dakota does not have a level playing field and fairness when it comes to girls’ sports.

“There is no evidence to suggest this is true. To date, there has not been a single recorded incident of a transgender girl attempting to play on a North Dakota girls’ team. This bill’s blanket prohibitions do not extend to students attending tribal or privately funded schools, thereby creating the potential for an unlevel playing field,” Burgum wrote.

Burgum added the North Dakota High School Activities Association has rules in place for participation in sex-separate games by transgender students including transgender girls having to do testosterone suppression treatment for transitioning for a full calendar year before participating on a girls’ team.

In another letter to Koppelman, Burgum called a bill banning the state from issuing mask mandates “an erosion of executive authority in reaction to an extremely challenging year of responding to a global pandemic, during which we were in frequent contact with legislative leaders and members. While we believe the current system worked well, this bill represents a compromise that allows for broader legislative involvement in future statewide health emergencies that affect all North Dakotans.”

Burgum said state law allows the governor the responsibility “to minimize or avert the adverse affects of a disaster or emergency.”

He added the state health officer is responsible for issuing “any orders related to disease control measures deemed necessary to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections