Four anti-transgender bills were defeated in South Dakota’s legislature this month! HB1225 and SB 49 would have made it difficult for transgender youth to participate in school sports and programs; HB1108 would have banned discussion about gender identity and expression; and HB1205 would have allowed parents to deny healthcare for transgender children.
These attacks are right in line with the Project Blitz playbook, a recently released set of plans and resources including model legislation meant to enshrine discrimination into law all across America, headed up by the Congressional Prayer Caucus with support from right-wing organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom.
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Equality Federation is providing hands-on support – from coaching to sophisticated voter outreach to our member organizations to fight back against this coordinated effort, and we are winning.
Travis Letellier, chair of Equality South Dakota’s board of directors said, “No one person or group can or should take credit for the successful defeat of these discriminatory bills. It takes all of us–people who are brave enough and advocates who are passionate enough–to work together to stand up for progress and fairness. Equality South Dakota’s mission is to advocate for the promotion and protection of LGBTQ+ rights in South Dakota. I’m glad that South Dakotans are beginning to have discussions about extending equality and providing safety to all South Dakota citizens, not just those of the majority. Addressing the issues that personally affect the LGBTQ+ community is a step in the right direction. And I truly believe we will see fewer and fewer of these discriminatory bills in the future as we increase education and outreach.”
The victories in South Dakota were made possible by a strong coalition including Federation member Equality South Dakota, ACLU, HRC, NCTE, and many volunteers on the ground. Our movement is the strongest when we all work together. Congratulations South Dakota.