Media Contact

Janna Farley,

August 7, 2020

Libby Skarin, the campaigns director for the ACLU of South Dakota, will be speaking about the annual fight for transgender rights at the South Dakota legislature during the 2020 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair Aug. 12-14.

Skarin will be participating in a panel discussion that will discuss the numerous bills attacking trans youth that state legislators across the county debated this year. From criminalizing doctors for providing medically necessary treatment to transgender youth to excluding transgender youth from participating in sports, conservative legislators across the country have tried to to deny the transgender community, especially trans youth, equal protection under the law.

This panel will explore these bills from a range of perspectives: organizers and lobbyists who fought these bills, the lawyers challenging the bills should they become law, and the research on the individuals and organizations behind this slate of hate.

In South Dakota, House Bill 1057, legislation that would have prohibited doctors from providing medically necessary care to transgender youth, passed in the House but failed to advance out of a Senate committee during the 2020 legislative session.

The Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair is the largest LGBTQ+ legal conference in the country with approximately 1,700 attendees attending annually. The 2020 conference will be held virtually.

Joining Skarin on the conference panel are Alejandra Caraballo from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Heron Greenesmith with Political Research Associates, Asaf Orr from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Allison Scott with Campaign for Southern Equality.

About the ACLU of South Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

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 LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit 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 the people of South Dakota.