South Dakota becomes the first state in 2022 to pass an anti-trans bill

Gov. Kristi Noem
Gov. Kristi Noem Photo: Matt AJ/via Wikipedia

The first state anti-trans bill of 2022 has passed the South Dakota legislature and is headed to the desk of Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

S.B. 46, which Noem herself authored, will ban trans girls from participating in school sports as their gender.

Related: Gov. Kristi Noem issues threat to trans students just in time for Christmas

Noem introduced the legislation at the end of last year and has been using her anti-trans beliefs to promote her reelection campaign for next year.

Noem is believed to also have presidential ambitions, which could explain why her campaign paid to run her anti-trans ad nationally instead of just in her state.

“The eagerness with which Governor Kristi Noem and South Dakota legislators have worked to pass Senate Bill 46, legislation attacking transgender kids reveals their backward priorities and that Noem’s national political aspirations override any sense of responsibility she has to fulfill her oath to protect South Dakotans,” said Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley.

“This was made clear when Noem’s Chief of Staff likened transgender kids who want to play sports with their friends to ‘terrorists.’ Imagine your governor or her staff comparing you to a terrorist. This inflammatory rhetoric shows just how untethered Noem and legislators are from the realm of science, evidence, or reality.”

Oakley also accused Noem of “adding to a dangerous wave of violence against transgender and gender non-binary people across the country that is being fueled by misinformation, discriminatory laws, and divisive political talking points.”

Jett Jonelist, advocacy manager for the ACLU of South Dakota, added that “Senate Bill 46 not only discriminates against trans women and girls in ways that compromise their health, social and emotional development, and safety, but also it violates federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection.”

The South Dakota House also voted to advance H.B. 1005 today. This bill would not only restrict trans youth from accessing multi-occupancy bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms, but it would also allow students who witness trans classmates violating the law to sue their school districts.

It is now on its way to the Senate for a vote.

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