In a sad move last week, the South Dakota House of Representatives made a decision to ban transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that don't match their biological sex.

The bill was passed 58-10 by our states majority republican house and now will go to a major republican senate and if passed there, it will go to our republican Governor Dennis Daugaard for final approval.  He has not publicly endorsed the bill, but has eluded to it being a good idea.

I point out the political majority because it has been seen across the United States that the republican backing for such measures has been much more prevalent than the democratic party and you can see the voting as such.

The fact that it has become a political issue is what makes this even more sad.  This is a human rights issue and at its core it's a issue of doing the right thing.  And what is right is to allow people to have the right to be themselves without discrimination and this bill does the exact opposite.

We have great people in our house and senate and a great person as Governor in Dennis Daugaard but I couldn't disagree with them more on this decision.

No kid or parent is going to try and take advantage of a situation where they are able to use the correct locker room or bathroom that matches their gender identity instead.  I know when I was a kid, a adolescent or as an adult would I or have I felt uncomfortable in such a situation.

Plus, in this measure specifically we are talking about students. Kids, who now have to be discriminated against because some adults think they know better.

The image that is portrayed nationally with this bill is a bad image for South Dakota.  Other states have looked at such bills but South Dakota is the first to pass such a measure.

The Human Rights Campaign, a leading national gay and human rights group, denounced the bill as “extreme.”

“[Thursday’s] shameful vote puts the Mount Rushmore State on the verge of being the first state in the nation to pass legislation that is nothing more than a vile attack on students who are already vulnerable to high rates of discrimination and harassment,” said HRC senior vice president JoDee Winterhof. “Fair-minded South Dakotans absolutely must stand up now and demand their lawmakers in the Senate stop this hateful legislation from moving any further.”

If I still haven't convinced you that what the state of South Dakota just did isn't the right decision for our state, watch this video of young Ryland Whittington and tell me that if it was your child that you wouldn't fight for inclusion not exclusion.


See Also: