Legislation Would Force Trans Students Into Restrooms And Locker Rooms Based On 'Chromosomes And Anatomy As Identified At Birth'
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A bill banning transgender students in public schools from using restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity passed the South Dakota Senate Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 20-15, and now heads to the governor's desk.
Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard "has said the measure seems like a good idea and plans to research the issue and listen to recorded testimony before making up his mind on whether to make the bill law," the Argus Leader reports. Last week, Daugaard said at a press conference, “I have not met a transgender person that I’m aware of."
The bill, HB 1008, "would mandate that students use facilities corresponding with their 'physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person's chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth,' not the gender with which they identify," the Huffington Post reports.
Speaking in favor of the bill, GOP Sen. Brock Greenfield (photo) claimed "there's a very real agenda, there's a real effort nationwide to promote this issue."
"This issue has been thrust upon us by an activist group of bureaucrats in Washington, DC.,” he claimed. “It’s only been a product of recent decisions made at the federal level.”
Greenfield also, falsely, claimed that transgender people "spontaneously decide they no longer consider themselves transgender, and that happens with great frequency."
“This bill hurts transgender students, takes away control from local schools, and doesn’t solve any problems. In fact, it does more harm than good to both trans kids and South Dakota’s reputation,” National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said in a statement. NCTE calls the bill "cruel."
Buzzfeed notes "the legislation is the latest in a national movement to ban transgender people from using restrooms that reflect the gender identity. Conservative organizations have united around a battlecry of banning 'men in women’s bathrooms' to push such policies in schools — and to block or repeal LGBT nondiscrimination laws."
On Twitter, opponents of the transphobic bill have been using the state's tourism hashtag, #hifromSD, to get their message heard:
So ashamed of our legislature's bigotry. #HiFromSD— Saila Erion (@SailaErion) February 17, 2016
#HiFromSD where I feel ashamed to live in such a horrendously discriminatory state.— al pal (@aliceserine) February 17, 2016