Another State Considers A Transgender ‘Bathroom Bill’

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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Two South Dakota lawmakers proposed a bill aimed at regulating bathroom and locker rooms in public schools Wednesday.

Republican Sen. Lance Russell introduced the legislation which would prevent transgenders from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, reports CBS Local.

The proposed legislation dictates that students at public schools must use the bathroom and locker room corresponding to their biological sex. The bill also allows schools to offer single-sex facilities as an alternative.

“I am simply interested in protecting all of the students and giving reasonable accommodation to everyone involved,” Russell said.

The South Dakota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union spoke out against the bill, calling it “an attempt to codify discrimination.” A transgender man described the legislation as “targeting” young transgender students.

“Transgender girls are girls. Transgender boys are boys. Period,” Terri Bruce declared. “Do we really have to do this again?”

This is actually the second attempt in South Dakota to get a bathroom bill passed. Gov.Dennis Daugaard vetoed a similar bill last year and plans to veto this bill, according to his chief of staff.

“This bill seeks to impose statewide standards on ‘every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school,” Daugaard wrote in a letter explaining last year’s veto.

He also added that the bill prevented schools from making their own decisions regarding transgender students and bathrooms.

“It removed the ability of local school districts to determine the most appropriate accommodations for their individual students and replaces that flexibility with a state mandate,” Daugaard explained.

Other states are also considering their own transgender bathroom bills. Alabama’s version of a bathroom bill would have attendants guarding stalls to ensure safety in public mixed gender bathrooms.

“Further, to the extent possible, it is incumbent upon this state to ensure the  emotional and physical security of its residents and the visitors to this state,” the bill declares. (RELATED: Alabama’s Bathroom Bill Would Have People Guarding Stalls)

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