South Dakota Effectively Kills Anti-Transgender Athletes Bill SB 49

In a 5-2 vote, the South Dakota Senate Education committee has deferred an anti-LGBT bill that would have required transgender student athletes to compete based on their birth certificate gender marker rather than their gender identity.

Senate Bill 49, as The Daily Beast previously reported, would have overturned a 2015 policy from the South Dakota High School Activities Association allowing all students to participate in sports “regardless of their gender identity or expression”—and replace it with language restricting participation based on the “sexual identity noted on the student’s certificate of birth.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota and other LGBT rights groups opposed the bill. On Thursday morning, the Senate education committee deferred SB 49 to the 41st Legislative Day, which effectively kills the bill because the legislative session is shorter than 41 days.

“The committee’s motion to kill this bill sends a clear message of inclusion and acceptance for our transgender friends and neighbors that there is no place for discrimination like this in South Dakota,” Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota, said in a statement.

Samantha Allen