Post submitted by Stephen Peters, former Senior National Press Secretary and Spokesperson
Failing to reach the required two-thirds majority needed, today the South Dakota House of Representatives voted 36 to 29 on a motion to override Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard’s veto of HB 1008 – reckless legislation attacking the dignity and rights of transgender children in public schools by attempting to prevent them from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. HRC responded to the news and also urged the Senate to reject another legislative proposal under consideration that targets transgender children in sports programs, HB 1112.
“The failure by opponents of equality to override Gov. Daugaard’s veto of HB 1008 is certainly encouraging news,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Fairness and equality have prevailed over this unconscionable legislative assault on transgender children. However, the Senate must now also reject another outrageous proposal under consideration that would ban transgender students from participating in athletic activities consistent with their gender identity. Transgender youth need the support of their state’s leaders, not vicious and hateful attacks.”
HB 1008 would have further marginalized transgender children and compounded the stigma, harassment, and discrimination they already face. It would have also placed South Dakota school districts into the untenable position of choosing between complying with state or federal law, putting them at risk of losing up to nearly $200 million in federal funding in addition to the cost of inevitable litigation.
HRC is working closely with the ACLU of South Dakota to keep another discriminatory bill – HB 1112 – from moving forward. Already passed through the House, HB 1112 would directly override the authority of the South Dakota High School Activities Association and states, “a student’s sex is determined by the student’s chromosomes and the sex recorded on the student’s official birth certificate.” It voids the existing policy adopted by the Association, which allows transgender students to participate in athletic activities consistent with their gender identity.