South Dakota is on the verge of becoming one of the most anti-transgender states in America with four discriminatory bills that may soon become law.
First we have HB 1008, a bill that has passed both the South Dakota House and Senate. The bill defines gender as biological sex and restricts bathroom access in schools for transgender students.
“Every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school that is designated for student use and is accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for and used only by students of the same biological sex.” – HR 1008
The bill goes on to state, ‘The term, biological sex, as used in this Act, means the physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth.” HR 1008 is currently sitting on the desk of Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard as the country waits to se if he will sign it into law or veto the bill. The Governor has been on record stating he has never met a transgender person.
Next we have HB 1209. This proposed bill would require all public institutions to accept all information on a birth certificate as valid. The purpose of this bill is a veiled attempt to block transgender kids from playing sports according to the gender they identify with. “Proponents have made it clear that this bill is an attack on the very existence of transgender people and their ability to live in society openly and on their own terms,” said ACLU of South Dakota Policy Director Libby Skarin with regards to the bill.
After being passed in the South Dakota House we have HB 1112 which is now being debated in the Senate. If the bill becomes law, South Dakota Schools will no longer be able to create any policies to help transgender students. It also voids any prior transgender policies.
“The board of directors of the South Dakota High School Activities Association may not adopt any transgender policy. The sole determinant of a student’s sexual identity is the sexual identity noted on the student’s certificate of birth.” – HB 1112
The 4th and final hate bill on the docket is HB 1107. This bill would allow organizations to discriminate against same sex couples, transgender individuals and even single mothers on the basis of religion. The bill would allow organizations to still receive tax payer funds, employment, licensing and other state benefits in the event the exclude such individuals from their services.