Today, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed legislation targeting transgender students and prohibiting their use of school restrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender they live as every day. HB 1008 drew bipartisan censure following its passage from the South Dakota Senate, including statements from local and national business leaders, medical associations, and newspapers urging Governor Daugaard to veto the bill.
Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center, the largest transgender-specific legal and advocacy organization in the country, issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s action:
“Governor Daugaard made the right call in vetoing this dangerous legislation, sparing South Dakota the risky and costly experiment of becoming the first state to mandate discrimination against transgender youth in violation of federal law and student privacy and well-being.
Every child, including transgender children, should feel welcome in their state and in their school, and should have the opportunity to succeed and be treated fairly as they work to get an education. Using state law to force schools to perform gender checks on students who need to use the bathroom – and then separate out transgender students from their peers – is not only dangerous and wrong, it is a violation of federal law.
We are deeply appreciative of the Governor’s thoughtful decision and of the tireless work of local advocates to stop this harmful legislation from becoming law. HB 1008 would have put the state school systems’ funding and the lives of young people in jeopardy.
This veto sends an important message to South Dakotans and to legislators in other states considering laws targeting youth that discrimination is harmful for everyone.”
Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.