Your collective efforts helped defeat Senate Bill 49, which would have hindered transgender students in South Dakota’s ability to participate in high school athletics.

But the fight to protect trans kids in South Dakota didn’t end on Jan, 24.

Days following Senate Bill 49’s defeat, the legislators deployed three new bills that aim to diminish the dignity of transgender students in South Dakota. House Bill 1108, House Bill 1225 and House Bill 1205 each target difference facets of a trans person’s daily life, but a common theme permeates: to make trans kids feel unwelcome.

Before embarking on your journey to tackle these bills and contact your legislators, take a deeper dive into House Bills 1108, 1225, and 1205. It is important to know exactly why we oppose them, and why we are asking you to demand your elected officials to do the same:

  • House Bill 1108
    • This bill, like others that have been debated by the South Dakota Legislature, is plainly intended to target transgender and gender non-conforming students. Prohibiting the discussion of gender identity just send the message that trans people aren’t important and don’t exist, which is patently false.
       
  • House Bill 1225
    • This bill won’t make sports safer or fairer for any student—all it would do is stigmatize and exclude a group of students who already face high levels of discrimination. Transgender students already face disturbing rates of bullying, rejection, and even violence. Making them the target of a bill that needless ostracizes them and denies them the right to have the same opportunities as their peers.
       
  • House Bill 1205
    • Research has documented that transgender children have comparable health outcomes to their non-transgender peers when they are affirmed in their gender by families and schools. When children are rejected or denied access to treatment, they experience negative health outcomes including suicidal ideation. South Dakota should be taking steps to encourage families to support children who are LGBTQ, not to deny their existence and refuse them necessary medical care.

Now, let's take action!

House Bill 1108 will be heard in front of the House Education Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and your representatives need to hear from you. Devote some time to call, email, or write your representatives and urge their opposition to House Bill 1108. Then, be sure to tell your legislators what you think about House Bill 1225 and House Bill 1205, too.

Decisions made during the annual sessions of the South Dakota Legislature have a deep and lasting impact on our state’s people and communities. As new laws are created and others repealed or written, it’s important to ensure that these changes preserve and strengthen our constitutional rights. For up-to-date information on the bills the ACLU of South Dakota is following, check out our Legislative Bill Tracker.

 

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