The South Dakota Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that seeks to prohibit students in public schools from using the bathroom that does not conform to his or her gender at birth.

The Senate approved the measure on a 20-15 vote. The bill earlier cleared the House with a 58-10 vote.

Governor Dennis Daugaard has not said whether he will sign the bill into law. It could also become law without his signature in a procedure known as “pocket pass.”

After passage in the House, Michael Ewald, communications director for the Democratic Party, said the bill sends “a damaging signal to transgender students they aren't welcome” and could lead to more bullying in schools.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Brock Greenfield, said that the legislation was needed to protect students.

“We're talking about our youth co-mingling in bathrooms and locker rooms, biological males and biological females, and a lot of my constituents approached me even before the session last year and said that [that] just doesn't jibe with them; that they feel that's inappropriate,” he said.

The bill is expected to reach Daugaard's desk on Thursday.