Victory! Lambda Legal Hails Decision of South Dakota Governor to Veto Anti-Trans Bill

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March 1, 2016

Today, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed House Bill 1008, a discriminatory bill that would have prevented transgender students from accessing restrooms and single-sex facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

Governor Daugaard did the right thing today. He did not allow hate and fear-mongering to dictate state policy, instead he chose to act reasonably and with compassion and demonstrated that equality is a South Dakota value. House Bill 1008 would have served no other purpose than to target transgender young people and worsen the isolation and harassment that many of them already experience.

We, our sister organizations and advocates all over the country have been watching the state closely and are relieved that Governor Daugaard vetoed this harmful bill. The South Dakota Legislature now needs to stop House Bill 1112, which would exclude all transgender young people from participating in high school sports and activities by tying participation to the sex listed on a young person’s birth certificate, rather than their gender identity. Like House Bill 1008, 1112 singles out transgender young people for discrimination rather than embracing them at a time that they need our support the most.

While we applaud the Governor’s action today, we know that work remains not only in defeating other hateful, discriminatory laws targeting LGBT people throughout the country, but also in expanding nondiscrimination protections for all members of our community.

We are so proud of all of the people in South Dakota that made this possible — the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, the Center for Equality in Sioux Falls and Equality South Dakota — but especially of all the young people who spoke with and shared their experiences with the Governor. Your bravery made this victory possible. Thank you all for all of your hard work and commitment to protecting every member of our community.

Read the press release.