South Dakota Senate committee kills controversial gender bill

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 12:51 PM CST
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A state Senate committee grappled with a controversial bill Monday that involves gender-change treatments.

In the end, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 5-2 to send House Bill 1057 to the 41st legislative day, essentially killing the measure.

The bill would have prohibited gender reassignment surgery and the prescribing of certain medications used to stop natural puberty of minor children.

Before the committee voted to shove the bill aside this session, a motion was pushed to pass it; but failed in a 2-5 vote.

Sen. Helene Duhamel (R-District 32), who voted against the ban, said: “I struggle to see this as a South Dakota issue. It is rare in our state. It is a parent issue.”

Sen. Phil Jensen (R-District 33) however, claimed most people he comes in contact with favor this bill. “We believe in protecting those that are most vulnerable among us,” Jensen said. “Minor children are most vulnerable and need protection.”

The bill had more support in the state House where it was approved on a 46-23 vote.