Washington isn't the only place where conservative legislators are figuratively burning transgender people at the stake during an election year. South Dakota has become the first state to pass a terrifying new anti-transgender discrimination law out of its state legislature.
From Stranger alum Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed:
House Bill 1008 states that “every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school that is designated for student use and is accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for and used only by students of the same biological sex.”
The bill defines “biological sex” as “the physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth.”
So how the hell would schools and gyms check that people using restrooms and lockers have—in their minds—the correct genitalia? What about intersex people? HB 1008 sounds very, very similar to Washington State's SB 6548, a bill that trans rights activists have dubbed the "Genital Check" bill for the same reasons. SB 6548 would allow businesses, gyms, individuals, whomever, to adopt the same policy. In South Dakota, however, it's specifically for kids.
South Dakota's governor still has to sign the bill. It's not looking hopeful that he's never even met a transgender person.
In South Dakota, the bill makes a gesture to providing a “reasonable accommodation” for transgender students — such as providing a single-person restroom — on the condition that it doesn’t burden the school district. But that accommodation would not include allowing trans students to use restrooms that reflect their gender identity.
Gov. Daugaard’s office did not immediately respond to a request to comment on whether he would approve or veto the bill. However, Daugaard said at a recent press conference, “I have not met a transgender person that I’m aware of.”