South Dakota bill would force transgender students to play on teams based on birth certificate gender

February 25, 2019 in News by RBN Staff


Source: The Hill | BY OWEN DAUGHERTY 

A South Dakota bill set to be heard on the House floor would require transgender student athletes to participate on sports teams based on the gender listed on their birth certificates.

House Bill 1225 would override the statewide policy currently in place that allows student athletes to play on sports teams “in a manner consistent with their gender identity,” according to CNN.

The bill would make the gender on the student’s birth certificate the “sole determinant” of their “sexual identity.”

The bill was sent to the House floor last week after a committee was deadlocked on the legislation, sending the bill to the floor without a recommendation.

The House bill introduced by state Rep. Lee Qualm (R) is similar to a Senate bill that was not passed, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Qualm said the current policy is based on a ”progressive political ideology rather than facts.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Dakota said it would keep open the possibility of challenging the bill in a lawsuit if it were to pass.

“At this point, we’re keeping all options on the table,“ Libby Skarin, policy director at the ACLU of South Dakota, told the local news outlet.

South Dakota High School Activities Association’s executive director Dan Swartos, who oversees the currently in-place transgender policy the House bill would override, said the state legislature would be responsible for any lawsuit resulting from the bill.

“This bill will not eliminate transgender students from our schools,” Swartos said, according to the local news outlet. “Those children will still be in our schools and our schools will be faced with how to deal with them. Our job, and the job of our member schools, is to serve all kids in South Dakota.”