South Dakota legislative panel advances transgender sports bill

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 11:09 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - In an 11-2 vote, the House State Affairs Committee Monday night voted to advance House Bill 1217, legislation that would ban transgender women and girls from competing on the sports teams that match their gender identity.

Sen. Maggie Sutton (R, Sioux Falls) said allowing transgender students to participate could damage sports and invalidate Title IX.

Dan Swartos, Executive Director of the High School Activities Association, told the committee they were dealing with a small number of kids.

“In prior years, it struck me that when we were talking through this, we were talking about legislation that would impact one citizen in this state. And that citizen was a minor,” Swartos said. “These are kids. They’re not monsters.”

Rep. Oren Lesmeister (D, Parade) said regardless of what the legislature does, these cases will ultimately be decided in court.

The bill, with a do pass recommendation, now moves to the House floor for debate.

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