Another small victory amidst South Dakota’s persistent fear and scapegoating: Senate State Affairs this morning killed House Bill 1108, Representative Tom Pischke’s anti-trans panic bill forbidding teachers from talking about gender dysphoria from kindergarten through seventh grade. My own Senator Al Novstrup moved to kill the bill, and the committee rolled with him 7–2.
Libby Skarin, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, provided excellent blow-by-blow Twitter coverage of the committee discussion this morning. From her account, the strongest sentiment swaying the vote nay was the argument affirmed by many that there is no problem to solve, that our elementary and middle school teachers aren’t loading kids up with science or propaganda about gender science; they’re just trying to keep kids safe and help them learn.
The most absurd claim of the day belongs to Black Hills wingnut Florence Thompson, who claimed that 90% of transgender people “revert back.” Thompson, of course, presented no hard science backing this claim, because there is none.
But the truest statement of the day came from Representative Pischke himself, who, in response to a question from Senator Troy Heinert about counseling said he does not know and is not qualified to answer the question.
Tom Pischke, not knowing, not qualified to answer—gee, we could apply that statement to pretty much any serious Legislative question.
Over on the House side, anti-trans bigotry gets one more shot: yesterday House Health and Human Services kicked House Bill 1225 toward the floor without recommendation. HB 1225 would dictate that children may only play school sports on the team that matches the sex indicated on their birth certificates. The ACLU notes HB 1225 would only increase the discrimination trans kids face.