North Dakota Lawmakers Ban Transgender Students From Sports

Highway sign reading North Dakota

North Dakota’s state legislature passed a bill today prohibiting transgender students from participating in a school-sponsored athletic team.

The bill passed 69 to 25 and now goes to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk.

Bills banning transgender students from sports participation are now awaiting vetoes or signatures from governors of North Dakota, Montana, Kansas and West Virginia.


Three previous states, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee, have signed bills into law, and South Dakota’s governor issued executive orders after expressing concerns about the legality of the state’s ban.

Lawmakers across the country have acknowledged they could not cite an instance of trans participation being an issue in their states.

North Dakota has had a policy regulating trans participation for the last five and a half years.

GLAAD released a guide for journalists covering the wave of anti-LGBTQ bills nationwide.

Statement from Serena Sonoma, GLAAD’s Communications Coordinator and Regional Media Lead, U.S. South:

“Transgender young people just want to be safe, belong, and live free of discrimination, including from some in their own government. There is no evidence that including trans kids harms anyone.

“This bill and similar measures across dozens of states are unnecessary and harmful to all young people. Lawmakers must stop targeting the most vulnerable in their states. They are sending a terrible message that hurts all kids and threatens their states’ economies. Gov. Burgum must veto this damaging bill.”