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South Dakota to get its own anti-trans bathroom bill (again)

Joseph McCormick January 25, 2017
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The US state of South Dakota is considering passing legislation which would restrict the locker room use of transgender students.

Legislators in the state are considering the bill, which was introduced on Wednesday.

It would mean public school students would have to use locker, shower rooms and changing facilitiues corresponding to the sex assigned at birth.

A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Dennis Daugaard last year.

His office has now said any bill which is “substantially the same” as last year’s will also be vetoed by the Governor.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Lance Russell, has described locker rooms and changing facilities as “the most sensitive places in the school.”

The measure has already been criticised by the ACLU of South Dakota, the policy director of which Libby Skarin told the AP that it “attempts to codify discrimination.’

“I am simply interested in protecting all of the students and giving reasonable accommodation to everyone involved,” said Russell in the face of criticism.

Last year, In a letter to the Speaker of the State’s lower chamber, Governor Daugaard said: “I respectfully return to you House Bill 1008, with my veto.

“This bill seeks to impose statewide standards on ‘every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school.’

“It removed the ability of local school districts to determine the most appropriate accommodations for their individual students and replaces that flexibility with a state mandate.

“If and when these rare situations arise, I believe local school officials are best positioned to address them.”

His veto came just hours before the deadline that would have seen the bill automatically take effect.

Related topics: daugaard, governor, south dakota, US

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