Anti-Transgender Bill Advances in South Dakota

February 22, 2019 • 2:05 pm

Bill targeting transgender students passes in House, while several other bills continue pending

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, legislation targeting transgender youth passed the South Dakota House of Representatives. South Dakota lawmakers have introduced a trio of discriminatory bills—HB 1205/SB 49, HB 1108, and HB 1225—that target transgender kids’ access to medical care, accurate health education and their ability to participate in sports. HB 1108, which just passed the House of Representatives, would prohibit educators from including gender identity or gender expression in their curricula in kindergarten through seventh grade in South Dakota’s public schools.

“Every student deserves a fair chance to succeed in school and prepare for their future, including students who are transgender,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “Laws that target transgender youth only serve to compound the discrimination and harassment that so many transgender people already experience. With bipartisan momentum increasing across the rest of the country for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, South Dakota can’t risk going backwards by enshrining dangerous anti-LGBTQ discrimination into state law. We must do everything in our power to ensure that all LGBTQ young people nationwide have the freedom to go about their daily lives without the fear of discrimination.”

For the past five years, South Dakota lawmakers have introduced bills targeting transgender youth. So far in 2019, two of these anti-transgender bills – HB 1205 and SB 49 – have been voted down in committee with bipartisan votes.

If any of this legislation passes, South Dakota would become the first state this year to pass an anti-LGBTQ bill. Freedom for All Americans is actively partnering with the ACLU of South Dakota and local advocates to defeat these bills.

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