February 26, 2019 at 4:16 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
All anti-trans bills now dead in South Dakota legislature
South Dakota, Pierre, gay news, Washington Blade
All anti-trans bills are now defeated in the South Dakota legislature (Photo by Dk4hb; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

All four anti-transgender bills introduced this year in the South Dakota legislature are now dead in the aftermath of the defeat Tuesday in the state House of a bill that would have placed restrictions on transgender athletes.

The legislation, House Bill 1225, sought to make the gender marker on a birth certificate the sole determinant of a student’s gender identity for the purposes of participating in high school sports.

The vote in the Republican-controlled was tied 34-34, which means the legislation would rejected for this legislative session.

The legislation died after the American Civil Liberties Union published as a full-page ad in the South Dakota Argus Leader a petition signed by more than 200 athletes, coaches and administrators in favor of transgender athletes.

HB 1225 was the fourth anti-trans bill to die in the South Dakota legislature. Another bills was House Bill 1108, a “Don’t Say Trans” that would’ve banned K-7 teachers from teaching about gender dysphoria. Although the House approved the legislation, it died last week in Senate committee.

Other bills sought to limit transgender participation in sports and transgender kids’ access to transition-related care.

The bill were four of 78 anti-LGBT bills and 18 bills that were specifically anti-transgender pending in state legislatures throughout the country this legislative session, according to the Equality Federation. South Dakota initially led the way with this anti-trans legislation after the state House approved the “Don’t Say Trans” bill, but that is no longer the case with the defeat of all anti-trans bills in the state legislature.

Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, hailed the defeat of all four anti-transgender bills in the South Dakota legislature in a statement.

“Americans from all walks of life – and elected officials from across the political spectrum – support treating transgender people with dignity and respect,” Davis said. “So-called ‘bathroom bill’ attacks are down this year after voters resoundingly struck down such efforts at the ballot box last year, but attacks on transgender youth are on the rise – and they are counting on us to protect them. These discriminatory bills would have sent South Dakota in the wrong direction and would have put transgender young people in harm’s way. We are grateful that South Dakota sidestepped this dangerous legislation and we will continue our work to protect every LGBTQ American from discrimination in their daily lives.” 

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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