Governor Of South Dakota Vetoes Anti-Transgender "Bathroom Bill"

"I saw things through their eyes."

The Republican governor of South Dakota vetoed a bill on Tuesday that would have restricted bathroom access for transgender students.

Governor Dennis Daugaard put out a statement saying that he did not believe the bill addressed "any pressing issue" and that it would have put schools in the “difficult position of following state law while knowing it openly invites federal litigation.”

The bill was heavily supported by conservatives and religious groups in the state, but Gov. Daugaard failed to see why this measure should extend to the federal level.

“Instead of encouraging local solutions, this bill broadly regulates in a manner that invites conflict and litigation, diverting energy and resources from the education of the children of this state.”

State Representative Fred Deutsch, who introduced the measure, responded that the bill "was an honest, sincere effort to protect the bodily privacy of our children."

Opponents of the bill, however, are overjoyed at the governor's decision, which they believe will help to alleviate the negative stigma many transgender students face.

Before making his decision, Gov. Daugaard consulted with both conservative supporters of the bill as well as with trans advocates, including Sioux Falls local Thomas Lewis, who is both a high school student and trans.

After meeting with Lewis and other trans individuals, Daugaard said he was able to hear “their personal stories, and so I saw things through their eyes in that sense.”

Kudos to Daugaard and congratulations to South Dakota!

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