UPDATE: The House failed to override the veto by a 2/3 vote. House Bill 1217 failed on March 29, 2021.
House Bill 1217 is an anti-trans bill.
House Bill 1217 aims to “promote fairness in women’s sports” yet would actually undermine sports for all people, harm athletes who are transgender, and cost South Dakota millions of dollars all in the name of “problem solving” where a problem doesn’t actually exist.
South Dakotans are better than this. We don’t want the government sweeping in where they aren’t needed and hindering local control on issues that communities are already handling. House Bill 1217 is a slap in the face to the schools and associations who’ve created successful and inclusive policies for athletes.
We oppose House Bill 1217 because South Dakota already maintains separate sports teams for boys and girls and has a policy for including transgender athletes consistent with gender identity. There has been *no* dominance by transgender athletes, no threat to sports, and no other problems in the over 6 years since the policy was adopted.
Yet every year, despite the seven attempts since 2015, we come out on top. For reference, here are the previous anti-trans sports bills propose by South Dakota lawmakers since 2015:
- House Bill 1161 (2015)
- House Bill 1195 (2015)
- House Bill 1111 (2016)
- House Bill 1112 (2016)
- Senate Bill 49 (2019)
- House Bill 1225 (2019)
- And now, House Bill 1217 (2021)
We are proudly working with community leaders like the Equality South Dakota and the Transformation Project Advocacy Network to stop this policy.