2018 South Dakota Legislative Session


It’s that time of year again. The legislative sessions have begun in Pierre, SD, and as usual, we have 2 republican Senators stirring up some more discriminatory bills against the transgender community.

Senator Stace Nelson of District 19, and Counties of Bon Homme, Douglas, Hanson, Hutchinson, McCook and Senator Phil Jensen of District 33, and Counties of Meade and Pennington are co-sponsoring 3 such bills. SB 160, HB 1296, and SB 202. Clicking on each bill will open their perspective page with descriptions of the bills.

To me, this is a blatant and continual, unfounded attack on the transgender people, and focused more on grade K through 7 students, not to mention a waste of tax payer dollars.

It was announced in December of 2017 that there would be no such bills as it is a known fact that our Governor will veto any such discriminatory bill. Yet these 2 clowns couldn’t resist the urge to try anyway.

So what you can do to help?

For the 3rd year in a row the South Dakota state legislature has introduced bills that target the transgender community. This Monday a group of TransAction South Dakota members joined forces with Equality South Dakota in Pierre to visit with our legislators and educate about the detrimental impact of these bills.

You can make a difference from home, call your representative and voice your opposition to these bills. 
Use this link to search your South Dakota State Senator and Representative and call their offices, using the talking points below.

SB 160: A bill to “prohibit certain gender identity instruction in public schools.”
I oppose this bill because:

  • Everyone has a gender identity and expression, so this bill would inhibit discussion of all student’s experiences of gender in the world .
  • This bill prevents any mention of trans experience in schools, and would prevent teachers and administrators from creating a safe and welcoming educational environment for all students. 
  • All students deserve to feel accepted and supported in school. When transgender young people are supported by their parents, schools, and communities their mental health outcomes are comparable to those of their non-transgender peers. But when they are shunned and rejected, this leads to high rates of suicide and other negative outcomes. 

Tell your Senator “As your constituent I ask that you oppose SB 160”

HB 1296: An Act to require each school board to establish a policy on the use of certain school district facilities (transgender students’ use of restrooms and locker rooms).
I oppose this bill because:

  • Schools and school boards across the state are working with individual students and their families to implement policies that ensure their students have access to equitable education. This bill would undermine the local work already in place in school districts across the state. 
  • School districts that do not currently have any transgender or intersex students may start developing policies without the input of the students, families, and communities that they will effect, resulting in the development and implementation of harmful or discriminatory policies.
  • Schools have a duty to ensure that all students can learn in a welcoming and harassment-free environment, including transgender students, who are especially vulnerable to harassment and discrimination. 

Tell your representative: “As your constituent I ask that you oppose HB 1296”

  • SB 202:  
    An act to require additional signage on unisex bathrooms to warn that people of another gender may be encountered.

  • • A non-gendered bathroom inherently implies that it will be utilized by people of all genders, causing this signage requirement to be unnecessary and burdensome to businesses and institutions providing unisex, non-gendered, and family restrooms.

Tell your Senator: “As your constituent I ask that you oppose SB 202”

Encourage your friends to take action too! And don’t forget to share this on social media!