Transgender Bill Deferred

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Good news for transgender students in South Dakota who want to participate in sports.

Senate Bill 49 has been tabled for now.   It would have repealed the high school activities association’s current policy when it comes to transgender students.  

That would have required a student’s sex to be determined by their birth certificate or a South Dakota High School Activities Association physical exam, not the gender they identify with. 

There was an hour and a half of testimony.

State Senator Jim Bolin was the sponsor of the bill.  He argued current policy opens the door to unfair competition.

“It’s not about shower rooms, locker rooms, or dressing rooms it’s strictly about fair competition and who is allowed to participate on teams that have been segregated by sex for athletic competition.” Bolin said. 

“Concerning the question of fair play the activities association policy contains checks and balances that are in place to make sure that a student cannot manipulate the system to gain a competitive advantage there are constant safeguards that the person has consistently acted and lived in the gender that they prefer long before any athletics were involved,”  Terry Nebelsick Huron superintendent said.

“I don’t know if Wyatt will want to play high school sports he still has a couple more years before high school, but as a mom I want him to have the opportunity to do so, if SB 49 passes he would have to play on a girls team, he’d rather quit sports than play on a girls team.” mother of a transgender student. 

On a 5-2 vote, South Dakota lawmakers deferred the bill to the 41st day – which basically means it was killed in committee.

Similar bills failed in the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. 

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