South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has vetoed HB 1008—legislation attacking the rights of transgender children in public schools by attempting to force them to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity.
H.B. 1008 would have put South Dakota school districts at risk of losing federal funds under Title IX, forcing them into an untenable position of choosing between state and federal law. It would also tie the hands of school administrators and teachers who would no longer have the flexibility they need to find workable solutions in coordination with transgender students and their parents. The U.S. Department of Justice has unequivocally stated that, “Discrimination based on a person’s gender identity, a person’s transgender status, or a person’s nonconformity to sex stereotypes constitutes discrimination based on sex. As such, prohibiting a student from accessing the restrooms that match his [or her] gender identity is prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX.”
“Governor Daugaard chose to do the right thing and veto this outrageous legislation attacking transgender kids. Today, the voices of fairness and equality prevailed, and these students’ rights and dignity prevailed against overwhelming odds and vicious opponents in the state legislature,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Unfortunately, another anti-LGBT bill is still pending in the South Dakota Legislature — and we must keep up the fight to ensure today’s veto holds and this other odious bill never makes it to Governor Daugaard’s desk.”
The HRC delivered over 80,000 signatures urging the governor to do the right thing and veto HB 1008.
The fight is far from over though, LGBT organizations are fighting against another extreme bill, HB 1112, from passing. Two other discriminatory proposals in the state, HB 1209 and HB 1107, have been tabled.