South Dakota: New Attack on Transgender Kids.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R). CREDIT: AP Photo/James Nord.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R). CREDIT: AP Photo/James Nord.

Last year, Gov. Daugaard vetoed an anti-transgender bill, after meeting with a number of transgender persons. Unsurprisingly, the bigoted bill is back on the table, with a new twist.

The 2017 bill, SB 115, has the same purpose as last year’s: blocking schools from letting transgender students from accessing bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. But there’s a new word included in the bill — one not seen in other anti-transgender bills — that could set a dangerous new precedent for legislation designed to discriminate against transgender people.

“The term, biological sex, as used in this Act, means a person’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth,” the bill reads. “A person’s original birth certificate may be relied upon as definitive evidence of the person’s biological sex.”

That word “original” means there would be no way for any transgender person to ever obtain legal recognition.

Currently, in South Dakota, transgender people can obtain court orders to amend their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity without any specific medical requirements.


But if anti-trans legislation starts referring to “original birth certificates” like South Dakota’s new bill does, that would further limit the already-few ways trans people have to protect their gender identities under the law. Indeed, it would eliminate the relevance of any legal documentation they obtain that confirms their gender identity.


Given South Dakota’s otherwise-identical bill made it all the way to the governor’s desk last year, this year’s version could similarly have legs. And there’s nothing to stop the many other states considering various anti-trans bills from incorporating the same change or propose new bills with this extra rejection of transgender identities.

This is absolutely evil, and so unnecessary. I’m tired of saying it should not be alright to legislate hate and bigotry. I would hope that Daugaard find the spine to do the right thing again, but I’m doubtful. Even if he does, this will be picked up by spiteful, bigoted, hateful, christian asses in many other states.

Full story at Think Progress.


  1. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    Is that document typical of Senate Bills?
    It is incoherent and ungrammatical.
    oh well, the target is clear enough, jeebus is probably pleased
    What are they going to do with people whose “anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth” are not in agreement? not on the binary?
    What the fuck do they even mean by genetics?

  2. anat says

    These are simply attempts to legalize harassment. Whether against transgender folk, non-conforming folk, or just anyone that looks ‘wrong’ to the harasser. I was asked how such laws were going to be enforced. What I think is going to happen is that bigots will be calling the police on anyone who might be thought to be doing gender ‘wrong’ while in a public (women’s) restroom. From a newly transitioning transgender woman to a cisgender women in pantsuits.

  3. anat says

    chigau, genetics likely refers to karyotype, because they never heard of any of the exceptions. Not that many people have any evidence for that, but who cares.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Same old shit. Jebus/imaginary deity can’t make mistakes.
    But they either imaginary deity made a mistake, or you aren’t learning the lesson they want you to learn….which is tolerance and acceptance.

  5. rietpluim says

    Note that the definition of “biological sex” is recursive.

    If they’d like a definition of something biological, they should ask a a biologist. I’m sure PZ will be happy to explain some things to them. Not that I’d expect them to listen…

  6. rietpluim says

    BTW, their line of thinking opens some very funny perspectives.

    Perhaps we could define body length as a person’s immutable body length as objectively determined at the time of birth: “Sir, you may think you are 1.83 m, but by definition it can’t me more than 0.53.”

    Or we could define hair color as a person’s immutable hair color as objectively determined at the time of birth. “Sir, you may think you have gray hair, but your ID clearly states it is blond.”

    How about food preference? “Sir, you keep complaining that you ordered a steak, but a bottle is all we serve.”

    Age: “Sir, your driving license is invalid. One must be at least 16 years old to drive, and you were only 0 at birth.”

  7. blf says

    Age: “[…] One must be at least 16 years old […], and you were only 0 at birth.”

    Not zero, but nine months(usually), at least according to the Female’s Body, Mind  & Sex Life Police.

    However, zero whenever convenient, such as providing proper medical care to the mother or baby. Zero also lasts a long time; for instance, up to, and when, and after, the baby, especially if female, has a child of her own.

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