The South Dakota Senate on Tuesday (16 February) passed a controversial bill that if signed into law would ban transgender students from using restrooms and single-sex facilities that correspond with their gender identity.
Lambda Legal is blasting the bill, already passed by the House of Representatives, and is calling on South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto it.
‘An attack like this is unprecedented and extreme,’ says Lambda Legal staff attorney Kyle Palazzolo.
‘South Dakota would be the first state that goes to such lengths to target and harm transgender youth. Shame on the members of the South Dakota Legislature who voted in favor of this bill for ignoring the fundamental obligation that schools have to create a safe learning environment for ALL students.’
Palazzolo adds that the bill ‘sends a dangerous message and may limit the potential educational outcomes for already vulnerable transgender students.’
House Bill 1008 defines ‘biological sex’ narrowly, according to critics, and makes it impossible for any transgender person to ever use the facilities that they feel safest and most comfortable in.
Lambda Legal warns that the US Department of Justice has made clear that prohibiting transgender students from using the facilities that correspond with their gender identity could result in a loss of federal school funding.