The transgender community was relieved Wednesday when the South Dakota Legislature killed the anti-Trans Sports bill calling it “Unconstitutional” and “big-government, liberal” reports the Grand Forks Herald
Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills this year that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools. Yet in almost every case, sponsors cannot cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems.
The Associated Press reached out to two dozen state lawmakers sponsoring such measures around the country as well as the conservative groups supporting them and found only a few times it’s been an issue among the hundreds of thousands of American teenagers who play high school sports.
Since 2017 have only been three times in which transgender high school students competing in the gender that they identify won state championships. In one of those instances, the trans student later lost in competition to a cisgender girl who is suing her for ‘unfair advantages”. The cisgender girl when asked if her winning meant anything answered cavalierly “so what, girls lose every day”.
Rep. Rhonda Milstead, a Hartford Republican, who appeared only days ago on a Florida stage at CPAC, tried galvanizing the wary Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 3 to look past the objections raised over her “fairness in women’s sports” bill.
But her bill’s undoing, said Senate Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown), was not in the language of social identities, but rather in its proviso requiring every student-athlete in the state to send a document to a bureaucratic building in Pierre documenting everything from sex type to drug test results.
“I would describe (this bill) as a liberal, big-government approach,” said Schoenbeck, noting the measure wasn’t appropriate for “a state like ours.”
Sen. Helene Duhamel (R-Rapid City), the only woman on the committee, reminisced on her own high school and collegiate track career before mentioning she’d asked her daughters, two college athletes, on their thoughts regarding the bill.
“They agree with me that this (transgender girls competing in girls-only sports) impacts so few, so infrequently,” said Duhamel. “Why would South Dakota lead the way when the experts are still trying to figure this out?”
Bills threatening transgender rights have become routine in recent years, and like those before — including a bill that would’ve prohibited transgender children from using the bathroom of their sex identity — HB 117 met a similar fate on Wednesday, as committee members voted 6-3 to send the bill to the 41st day.
“I think our trans community needs our support,” said Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert, recounting a story of two transgender children in a school he taught in. “Instead, what they continually see every year attacks.”