It’s troubling times right now in South Dakota, as they could become the first US state to enact a law requiring transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their birth sex.
The bill has already been passed by the state legislature, but currently awaits governor Dennis Daugaard’s signature. If he signs, areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities that could be used by multiple people would only be used by students of the same biological sex.
There is a small caveat, though. The bill asserts that if a student is transgender, and a parent “consents to that assertion in writing,” the student should be given a “reasonable accommodation.”
This “reasonable accommodation” could range from a single person bathroom, a unisex bathroom or controlled use of the locker room/bathroom.
Daugaard does seem to be on board with this idea, but he wants to study the bill and also listen to recorded testimony before making a final decision.
Spokeswoman Kelsey Pritchard confirmed that he has yet to take a position on the bill, saying: “Before he makes a decision, he will be meeting with The Center For Equality to understand their concerns. He will also be meeting with the sponsors of the bill.”
Naturally, transgender people in general and students within the area are not best pleased with the notion of this bill getting signed.
Transgender student Thomas Lewis spoke to KSFY, saying that this measure is unnecessary: “Most of my male friends who I speak to a lot say, ‘I don’t mind if you use the bathroom with me. I mean, it’s a bathroom. … It shouldn’t be a big issue to begin with.”
But, naturally, there have been comments from some saying that the bill will promote “privacy” from State Rep. Fred Deutsch, the author of the bill: “The primary purpose of the bill is to protect the physical privacy of students from having to expose themselves, or be exposed to others, when in a state of undress or nakedness while at school or school functions.”
However, it the bill becomes law it will be in stark contrast to laws elsewhere in the country. Some would argue that it’s also in contrast to common sense. We have, of course, previously seen people like drag entertainer Kelly Lauren show us just how ridiculous this could be…