South Dakota could be first state to ban transgender students in some restrooms

Updated 6:56 PM EST, Wed February 17, 2016
00:50 - Source: CNN
South Dakota to ban transgender students in restrooms

Story highlights

NEW: Governor's office says he'll meet with an LGBT advocacy group and the bill's sponsors

School restrooms and locker rooms would be limited to students of the same biological sex

Transgender students with written parental consent should be given a "reasonable accommodation," the bill says

CNN —  

South Dakota could become the first state to ban transgender students from using restrooms of the gender they identify with.

The state Senate passed the bill Tuesday in a 20-15 vote, after the state House approved it 58-10 last month. The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s desk.

If the governor signs off, school restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities that could be occupied by multiple students may only be used by students of the same biological sex.

The bill states that if a student says he or she is transgender, and a parent “consents to that assertion in writing,” the student should be given a “reasonable accommodation.”

A “reasonable accommodation” could include a single-occupancy restroom, a unisex restroom or the controlled use of a restroom or locker room, the bill states.

READ: Rio 2016: Olympic body changes transgender guidelines

Daugaard has said the measure sounds like a good idea but plans to listen to recorded testimony before making a decision, the Argus Leader reported.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the governor said he hasn’t taken a position yet.

“Before he makes a decision, he will be meeting with The Center For Equality to understand their concerns,” spokeswoman Kelsey Pritchard said. “He will also be meeting with the sponsors of the bill.”

Earlier the governor’s office had told the center – which advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community – that he wouldn’t have time to meet with them.

The governor has said that, to his knowledge, he has never met a transgender person.

READ: Opinion: America, move forward on transgender rights