Media Contact

Janna Farley,

February 7, 2019

After the House Education Committee passed a bill banning instruction on gender dysphoria to the house floor yesterday, the ACLU of South Dakota’s commitment to ensuring that transgender South Dakotans can live openly without discrimination remains strong and urges South Dakota lawmakers to stop hurting transgender youth.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposes House Bill 1108, legislation that would codify discrimination against transgender youth and thwart teachers, administrators and counselors from creating a safe and welcoming educational environment for all students in our public schools. House Bill 1108 could be heard on the House floor as early as today. 

“House Bill 1108 is clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender youth in our state,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. “Transgender youth are among society’s most at-risk populations. When they face discrimination and victimization at school, it can often lead to serious negative health and mental health consequences. House Bill 1108 amplifies those negative messages and reinforces the incorrect notion that transgender students are not entitled to the same dignity and respect as all students.”

In addition to the ACLU of South Dakota, organizations like the School Administrators of South Dakota, the Human Rights Campaign and the Sioux Falls School District oppose House Bill 1108.


About the ACLU of South Dakota

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 As new laws are created and others repealed or written, it’s important to ensure that these changes preserve and strengthen our constitutional rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection, and privacy are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for people of South Dakota.

For up-to-date information on the bills the ACLU of South Dakota is tracking, go to