UPDATE: Senate Bill 46 passed out of the House State Affairs Committee on Jan. 26, the legislation now moves onto the House Floor for a vote.
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SUBJECT LINE: Vote no on Senate Bill 46
Trans people belong everywhere in South Dakota – including sports. That’s why I’m urging you to vote no on Senate Bill 46, legislation that would ban trans girls from competing on the sports teams that match their gender identity.
All students should have the opportunity to play sports and have their personal dignity respected. Transgender students are no different.
No one is harmed by allowing transgender students to compete consistent with who they are. Senate Bill 46 is clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender people in our state.
Instead of leveling the playing field, this legislation would place hurdles in front of students just because they’re transgender. I’m urging you to respect trans youth and vote no on Senate Bill 46 and focus on issues that really matter to the people of our state.
Senate Bill 46 would stop transgender girls from being able to play on sports teams that affirm their gender.
The ACLU of South Dakota opposes this bill because it violates federal and constitutional law. This bill violates both Title IX and the equal protections clause of the fourteenth amendment of the US Constitution.
This is discrimination plain and simple.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, have said that Title IX requires all schools receiving federal funding to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in every aspect of the school, including on sports teams. Sports bills that seek to ban transgender women and girls from participation in athletics are based on inaccurate stereotypes about biology, athleticism, and gender. These false stereotypes shouldn’t get to put transgender students in a box that dictates what goals they can pursue, how they can express themselves, and what kind of life they get to lead. People of all genders, races, income levels, backgrounds – everyone – wants to be free from these types of boxes and deserves to live a life where they can fully express themselves, pursue their dreams, and connect authentically with others.