South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has come under fire after being left clueless as to why nearly 90% of the state’s LGBTQ+ community had high rates of depression.
Ms Noem, who signed an exclusion bill banning transgender girls and women from playing on women’s sports teams, was left puzzled when confronted by a reporter with a statistic about the high rate of sexual abuse problems. mental health suffered by the LGBT+ community in South Dakota. .
“I don’t know,” Ms. Noem said. “It makes me sad, and we should understand that.”
Following her response, the White House criticized her for signing the bill, accusing her of “attacking LGBT youth” with her policies.
“Here’s a start for you, Governor,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House’s deputy press secretary, and shared video from Thursday’s press conference.
“1. Don’t advance policies that attack trans youth, 2. Don’t fund ads attacking LGBT youth, 3. Support @POTUS’ program to improve support for youth mental health needs, with funding made available through the US bailout,” she added.
The White House official’s tweet sparked a feud between the two as Ms Noem brushed off criticism and double-crossed Ms Jean-Pierre.
“We believe in fairness in SD and are ranked #1 in mental health by US News,” Ms. Noem said.
“Do you want to comment on the many failures of your boss @JoeBiden? Inflation. Constant foreign policy failures. Stagnant labor market. Fauci is tired. Gas prices. Do you want to learn from our leadership? she added.
The governor of South Dakota had seized on national deadlines after signing a bill on February 3 to crack down on transgender women. The legislation would require everyone playing on a women’s sports team to be assigned female at birth, thereby barring girls and transgender women from competing.
South Dakota is the tenth state to impose such restrictions and the first to do so this year.
Such laws have, however, sparked a heated debate in the country, with opponents of the law condemning the Republican-led bans as discriminatory and dehumanizing for the LGBT+ community.
The question posed to Ms. Noem was supported by a statistic from a recent HelpAdvisor report that analyzed rates of anxiety and depression among LGBT+ people in the United States.
He revealed that around 87% of South Dakota’s LGBT+ community – the largest in the country – suffers from mental health issues.
Human rights groups have also repeatedly condemned laws targeting LGBT+ people, which they say could harm and alienate them.
“Transgender children are children,” Human Rights Campaign lead counsel Cathryn Oakley said after the bill was signed. “They deserve to be able to play with their friends. This legislation does not solve a real problem that South Dakota was facing: it is discrimination, plain and simple. Shame on Governor Noem.
Ms. Noem said at the signing of the bill that this was an important priority for many people.
“We will make sure we have fairness and a level playing field for female athletes here in South Dakota State at the K-12 and college level,” she said.
The Independent Gt