February 10, 2020 at 4:02 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Anti-trans youth legislation killed in S.D. committee
South Dakota, Pierre, gay news, Washington Blade
The South Dakota legislature killed a bill to criminalize transition-related care for transgender youth. (Photo by Dk4hb; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Legislation in South Dakota that would have criminalized providing transition-related care for transgender youth has been killed in committee amid a rally cry from transgender advocates to fight the measure.

Although the legislation, HB 1057, was approved in the South Dakota House, a Senate panel on Monday voted down the bill by a vote of 5-2, according to the Sioux Falls-based KELO-TV.

The legislation would have criminalize providing transition-related care to youth, including puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery, making them a Class 1 felony. The penalty would have been a maximum of a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

Opponents of the legislation included the South Dakota State Medical Association, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the South Dakota Retailers Association, KELO-TV reported.

The South Dakota legislation was one of more than a dozen bills pending in state legislatures throughout the country aimed at restricting access to transition-related care for transgender youth.

Bills in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire would similarly criminalize the care, while legislation in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina would institute professional discipline, such as revocation of licenses. Lawmakers in Georgia, Texas and Utah have also signaled they’ll introduce similar legislation.

Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project, claimed victory in a statement upon the defeat of legislation.

“We are grateful to see HB 1057 defeated in committee today in a resounding victory for trans youth in South Dakota,” Brinton said. “We are hopeful that any state considering similar bills will join South Dakota in setting aside these attacks on trans youth to focus on real priorities to advance the health and wellbeing of all.”

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

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