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Tue Feb 26, 2019, 01:55 PM

Bill targeting transgender athlete policy fails in South Dakota

OUT POLITICS AND POLICY

Bill targeting transgender athlete policy fails in South Dakota

It's the fourth bill critics have labeled anti-transgender that state lawmakers have rejected this session.

Feb. 26, 2019, 10:22 AM EST
By Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. A South Dakota bill seeking to scrap a policy allowing transgender students to play on the athletic team that matches their gender identity failed Monday in the state House.

The 34-34 vote fell short of the majority needed to send the bill to the Senate. It's the fourth bill critics have labeled anti-transgender that state lawmakers have rejected this session. A Senate panel last month rejected a similar bill targeting the South Dakota High School Activities Association policy.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm, the bill's sponsor, said the measure was about fair competition. ... "South Dakota is breaking no new ground by doing this," Qualm said, noting it was patterned after Texas. "This is all about fair competition. Boys competing against boys, girls competing against girls, based on the birth certificate."

Democratic Rep. Kelly Sullivan urged her colleagues to oppose the bill, saying lawmakers must be focused on work to positively affect South Dakota. Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota, said in a statement that all young people should have the chance to play high school sports with their personal dignity respected, and transgender students are no different.
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