South Dakota governor vetoes anti-transgender bathroom bill

By Shawn Price

PIERRE, S.D., March 1 (UPI) -- Republican governor of South Dakota Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have made the state the first to restrict bathroom access for transgender students.

Conservative legislators pushed the bill as a protection of privacy to all students, even though it would likely conflict with federal civil rights laws.


The bill did "not address any pressing issue" facing the state, and would have stuck public schools in the "difficult position of following state law while knowing it openly invites federal litigation," Daugaard said in a statement.

"Instead of encouraging local solutions, this bill broadly regulates in a manner that invites conflict and litigation, diverting energy and resources from the education of the children of this state," Daugaard said.

State Representative Fred Deutsch, who introduced the bill, will not seek an override.

"Governor Daugaard chose to do the right thing and veto this outrageous legislation attacking transgender kids," said Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin in a statement. "Today, the voices of fairness and equality prevailed, and these students' rights and dignity prevailed against overwhelming odds and vicious opponents in the state legislature."


Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center, also applauded the veto.

"Governor Daugaard made the right call in vetoing this dangerous legislation," Hayashi said. "Sparing South Dakota the risky and costly experiment of becoming the first state to mandate discrimination against transgender youth in violation of federal law and student privacy and well-being."

Latest Headlines