A bill that would ban transgender women and girls from competing on sports teams that match their gender identity won’t be signed into law.
The ACLU of South Dakota opposed House Bill 1217, a legislative attack on transgender women and girls and violates both the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which protects all students – including those who are transgender – from discrimination based on sex.
The following statement can be attributed to Jett Jonelis, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager:
“House Bill 1217 was never about leveling the playing field for student athletes. It was obvious from the beginning that this discriminatory legislation was about creating solutions to problems that don’t exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable people in our state,” said Jett Jonelis, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager. “Nobody wins when politicians try to meddle in people’s lives like this. Nobody wins when we try to codify discrimination like this. We’re thrilled with the decision by South Dakota lawmakers to kill this bill.”
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.