South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would restrict use of bathrooms by transgender students, according to the Rapid City Journal.
Daugaard decided to veto the legislation after meeting with transgender South Dakotans and realizing they presented no threat. In his veto message he said the legislation “does not address any pressing issue.”
The law would have been a first of its kind by legislating bathroom use by anatomy and targeting minors.
“Thank you Governor Daugaard for meeting with transgender people to see through their eyes that they are our friends, family, and neighbors, worthy of the same fair treatment and dignity as everyone else,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation. “The more people get to know about the real lives of transgender people, the more empathy prevails. All students, including transgender students, should be able to fully participate and have a fair opportunity to thrive in school.”
“We salute Governor Daugaard for meeting with students and listening to the concerns of legal experts and medical professionals about the serious harms caused by denying students equal access to all school programs and activities,” said Erik Olvera, communications director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “School policies should be based on evidence, not irrational stereotypes and fears, and should support the health and well-being of all students.”