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
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
“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.