South Dakota’s anti-trans bathroom bill is withdrawn

By: Pink News, Joseph Patrick McCormick

An anti-LGBT ‘bathroom bill’ has been withdrawn in the US state of South Dakota at its first stage of the legislative process.

Legislators in the state had been considering the bill, which was introduced last week.

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

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

But the bill was withdrawn at committee stage, Senate Education Committee Chairman Jim Bolin said today.

Sponsor Senator Lance Russell did not comment on his reasons for withdrawing the bill.

Governor Daugaard had already said that he would veto the bill, similar to last year’s, if it reached his desk.

He expressed concerns over North Carolina’s bathroom bill HB2, which has been condemned around the world, and which has left the state with a number of issues including loss of business, sporting events and high profile music concerts.

His office previously 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 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.