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UPDATE: ‘smoke out’ rule revives transgender bill in SD House

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 9:39 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA) - UPDATE 2:25 p.m. Jan. 26

A bill that would require birth certificates to reflect biological sex in South Dakota has been revived in the legislature.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday moved to “smoke out” House Bill 1076 after the measure was defeated by a legislative committee earlier that day.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Fred Deutsch of Watertown, moved to invoke legislative rule 7-7 on the floor of the House Tuesday afternoon. This rule - also known as a “smoke out” - requires a committee to deliver a bill to the full body of the chamber if at least one-third of the chamber’s members support the move. Deutch’s action got the required votes, thus reviving the bill.

Deutsch cited the close vote in the committee - it was defeated by a 7-6 vote - as a reason to revive the bill. He also called it an “important social issue.”

The House has yet to schedule the bill for discussion, but the rule requires it to be delivered to the full body by the next legislative day.

Opponents argue the bill discriminates against transgender people living in the state. Advocates staged a small protest outside the statehouse Tuesday morning.

Rep. Fred Deutsch (R, Florence) testifies at a legislative committee in Pierre.
Rep. Fred Deutsch (R, Florence) testifies at a legislative committee in Pierre.(South Dakota Broadcaster's Association)

UPDATE: 9:42 a.m. Jan. 26

The South Dakota house bill that would require the sex on someone’s birth certificate to reflect their biology at birth failed in committee during its first reading.

House Bill 1076′s first reading in the House Health and Human Services Committee failed in a 7-6 vote Tuesday morning.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-Florence, would require birth certificates to state someone’s biological sex at birth and would prevent someone from amending their birth certificate to reflect a sex reassignment.

Outside Pierre, around 15-20 protesters gathered in single-digit temperatures to show their opposition to the legislation.

Inside the committee meeting, LGBT advocates comprised of pastors and transgendered South Dakotans testified in-person and over video call.

The House Health and Human Services Committee is comprised of two Democrats and 11 Republicans. HB1076 was introduced at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Original Report:

About a dozen protesters assembled peacefully outside the South Dakota state capitol Tuesday morning as House Bill 1076 was first read in the House Health and Human Services Committee.

This bill is being introduced by Representative Fred Deutsch. House Bill 1076 is meant to unify courts that rule on sex marker changes, the proposers say. It requires “birth certificates reflect biological sex.”

Members of the South Dakota LGBTQ community say it discriminates against transgender people living in the state.

KOTA Territory News will provide more updates as we learn more.

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