By STEPHEN GROVES
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota legislative committee has approved a bill championed by Gov. Kristi Noem to ban transgender women and girls from participating in school sports leagues that match their gender identity. The Republican governor has aggressively pushed the bill this year. It received approval in the Republican-dominated Senate State Affairs committee on Friday, clearing a legislative hurdle that has been a key roadblock to similar South Dakota bills in the past. Every Republican on the committee approved the bill, despite warnings from opponents that it alienates and bullies transgender students. Opponents say it exposes schools to legal action for a political cause that has not been an issue in South Dakota.