Skip to main content

Vetoed: SD governor won't sign transgender bathroom bill

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

South Dakota's governor has vetoed a bill that would have restricted bathroom use for transgender students.

The South Dakota House and Senate had passed H.B. 1008, a bill barring transgender students from using bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities of the gender with which they identify.

And on Tuesday, Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed the bill, writing to lawmakers: "[the bill] does not address any pressing issue concerning the school districts of South Dakota."

https://twitter.com/ACLUSD/status/704805213803163648

He said the bill removes the school district's ability to determine the appropriate accommodations for its students and "replaces that flexibility with a state mandate."

“Instead of encouraging local solutions, this bill broadly regulates in a manner that invites conflict and litigation, diverting energy and resources from the education of the children of this state,” Daugaard wrote.

He emphasized that local school districts are in the best place to address these situations, and if they were forced to follow the state law, it would "openly [invite] federal litigation."

If Daugaard had signed the bill into law, South Dakota would have become the first state to require transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their biological sex.

Proponents of the bill said it protects student's privacy, and the Republican governor had initially responded positively to the proposal, the Rapid City Journal reports. But he rejected it after the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign called it discriminatory against vulnerable students.

Gov. Daugaard met with transgender students last week, before he made his decision.

Daugaard announced his veto hours before the deadline to make a decision, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reports.

The state Legislature could still override the governor's veto with two-thirds support, but Rep. Fred Deutsch, the bill's primary sponsor, says he would not be asking his colleagues to do so, the Argus Leader says.

Similar attempt in Minnesota failed

Transgender school policies have been a hot-button issue in Minnesota in recent years.

Transgender students in Minnesota are allowed to use the locker rooms and bathrooms, and play for the sports teams of the gender with which they identify, after the Minnesota State High School League approved a policy in 2014.

An attempt was made by Republican lawmakers last March to roll back the policy with a similar bill to the one approved in South Dakota, separating Minnesota high school locker rooms and bathrooms along birth gender lines. But the proposed bill was defeated in the Senate.

Next Up

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.

MPR

APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.

motorcycle

Motorcyclist killed in Ham Lake after passing in the turn lane

The motorcyclist was hit by a car turning onto the road.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota gets cut of Ford settlement over misleading ads

The $19.2 million settlement centers on Ford's C-Max hybrid and Super Duty pickup truck.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School closed for day after threat

District officials say the threat is not believed to be credible.

covid test airport

White House names MN as location for federal test-to-treat COVID sites

Minnesota is one of only five states that will host the pilot project.

Related

Dayton vetoes tax bill

Gov. Mark Dayton quickly vetoed Friday a Republican-backed tax bill that cleared the Legislature Thursday night, saying the measure irresponsibly added to the deficit in future years, Politics in Minnesota says. Dayton rejected notions that the veto would hurt the chances of Monday's Vikings stadium vote.

Dayton vetoes bill to expand fireworks

Late Saturday night, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill that would have allowed the sale and use of bigger and more powerful fireworks. The decision comes after opponents expressed concerns about fires or injuries. Supporters argued Minnesotans can go to neighboring states to buy fireworks.