Media Contact

Janna Farley,

May 7, 2024

Attorney General Marty Jackley today joined five other state attorneys general filing suit against the U.S. Department of Education over updated regulations that make it clear that Title IX covers harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex stereotypes.

These new regulations, issued in April, outline schools’ obligations to guarantee that all students – including survivors of sexual harassment, LGBTQ+ students and pregnant and parenting students – have full and equal access to educational opportunities regardless of sex and details that a trans person cannot be prevented from participating in an educational program or activity consistent with their gender identity.

The following statement can be attributed to Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager: 

“Across the country and right here in South Dakota, political attacks against transgender people have grown exponentially over the last several years. This lawsuit is just the latest attempt to erase transgender people from society. This intolerance against a marginalized group of people is a distraction from our state’s real needs and hurts us all.

“If our elected leaders really wanted to protect and promote opportunities for girls and women in education and sports, they would be tackling and addressing the real problems, such as severe underfunding, lack of media coverage, sexist ideologies that suggest that women and girls are weak, and pay equity for coaches and players.

“Denying trans people the right to fully participate in educational programs or activities consistent with their gender identity is discrimination and it doesn’t just hurt trans people, it hurts all of us.”

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 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.