Media Contact

Janna Farley, jfarley@aclu.org

February 12, 2019

Today, South Dakota representatives voted to pass 

The bill, which would ban instruction on gender dysphoria, now heads to the Senate for a committee hearing.

Lawmakers heard from South Dakota parents, teachers, schools and mental health professionals who called and wrote emails and traveled to Pierre to testify and about the ways in which this bill unnecessarily harms transgender students. 

“The ACLU of South Dakota is disappointed that South Dakota’s representatives voted to pass House Bill 1108. This legislation is clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender youth in our state and reinforces the incorrect notion that transgender students are not entitled to the same dignity and respect as all students,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. “It is this type of hostility toward young transgender people from adult leaders that contributes to the high rates of depression and even suicide among transgender young people in our state. But the fight is not over. Our commitment to ensuring that transgender South Dakotans can live openly without discrimination remains strong and urges South Dakota lawmakers to stop hurting transgender youth.”

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 As new laws are created and others repealed or written, it’s important to ensure that these changes preserve and strengthen our constitutional rights.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

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