South Dakota lawmakers are one step closer to banning schools from teaching students about trans people.
The state’s House Education committee passed House Bill 1108 earlier this week, Fargo news outlet Inforum reports. The bill will now go to the House floor for a vote.
If passed by the House in the coming weeks, HB1108 would ban public schools from teaching students about gender dysphoria, which describes the dissonance most trans people feel between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth, from grades kindergarten through seventh.
HB1108 is one of at least four pieces of anti-trans legislation that South Dakota state lawmakers have introduced since January. House Bill 1205 would have given parents the right to deny their kids trans-affirming medical care had it not died in committee this week. House Bill 1225, still in committee, would force trans student athletes to play sex-segregated sports according to what’s on their birth certificate if passed. Senate Bill 49 similarly sought to restrict trans student athletes from participating in sex-segregated sports but died in committee.
Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told Out that all of these bills are “concerning” and “raise serious legal and constitutional questions” when HB1108 was introduced.
“South Dakota appears to want to distinguish itself as the state most committed to harming trans youth,” he said in a statement. “Trans people already experience incredibly high rates of violence and self-harm due to familial rejection and systemic discrimination. There’s no question that bills like these just compound existing harm and trauma and lead to devastating health outcomes.”