South Dakota Governor Comes Down On the Right Side of History

For the past five days, Republican South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has considered whether to sign or veto the anti-transgender bill that passed the South Dakota Legislature last week.

Today he vetoed the bill and sent an important message to all South Dakotans — and particularly to the estimated 1,300 transgender students in South Dakota — that his state won’t let fear and ignorance of difference dictate state law.

The bill, HB 1008, targeted transgender students and proposed assigning them to separate bathrooms.

Horrible things were said about transgender young people by South Dakota lawmakers as the bill made its way through the state’s legislature.

At the same time, brave South Dakotans and allies from across the country fought back and stood behind the transgender young people who are just fighting to be themselves.  As transgender student Thomas Lewis explained in The Washington Post: “Transgender students like me are just looking for a chance to access the same things that everyone else does — an education, a job, a safe place to pee.”

During the floor debate in the Senate, Republican Senator Deb Peters recognized that, explaining of the bill, “When I’ve been elected these past 12 years … my whole goal has been cause no harm, do no harm and this instance I cannot vote for this particular piece of legislation because I believe it does more harm than good.” While supporters of the legislation insisted that it was needed as a “preventative” measure, the truth was, as another Republican lawmaker explained, the bill just caused “unnecessary fear.”

Though he at first indicated support for the measure and admitted to never having met a transgender person, Governor Daugaard later decided to meet with transgender students to hear about their experiences. Of the meeting with the students, Daugaard explained, “It helped me see things through their eyes a little better and see more of their perspective.”

At the end of the day, our common humanity and decency united us. Hopefully Daugaard’s message and action will be received beyond South Dakota.

The transgender community continues to need the support and love of allies willing to stand up to discriminatory measures that threaten our safety. The transgender young people who bravely spoke out in South Dakota changed the course of their own political lives and set an inspiring example for the rest of us. We should not all have to be so brave, but we honor and thank those young people who take on so much to make the world a better place for us all. 

View comments (10)
Read the Terms of Use


Enjoy you false doctrine and last few days of self exoneration. I see you kissing your own hand as you write your article. Satan will love your self loathing. He may even assign extra demonic entities to tend to you for ALL eternity....ahhh, but that's right, you don't believe in that....HELL thing. Well you will, just about 30 seconds after you arrive their.....enjoy!

MJ Eckhouse

Hahaha. Yes, good job ACLU and thank you for refusing to legalize discrimination, Governor Daugaard.


Really? Oh, you must be one of those Pseudo-Christians who pretend to be Christian without actually believing in Christian morals. I thought people would get past Homosexuality being a sin. But nope, I guess I was wrong. You don't love anyone but yourself, do you? If anything, you're going against the golden rule. You wouldn't want someone saying that you'll go to hell, would you?


Well do you believe that it is perfectly ok to sell your daughter as a sex slave? The bible does, and even sets guidelines on how to do it the right way.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

You are just as much a pseudo-christian, except you pick and choose based on your own hatred and bigotry.


The estimation of 1300 transgender students seems abnormally high given the national average. More likely, the 1300 would include gay and lesbian as well as transgender (even then, that would be slightly higher than the national average).

Vetoing was the right call; schools need fewer federal and state mandates- not more. Let it be remedied locally.


This estimate seems a bit high but not rediculously so. I am guessing it is only about 25% high since about 25% of South Dakota is school aged and roughly 0.3% of the population is transgendered.


I'm really confused about a bill to restrict transgender people from using the restroom they see as correct for themselves. Logically it just sounds stupid. If you are a biological female living your life as a male and you enter the men's restroom then you can't use the urinal because you don't have that equipment. So you use a stall. If you are a male living your life as a female and you enter the women's restroom then guess what, no urinals. So you use a stall. So what's the damn problem. Oh wait their is no problem. Except for a bunch of jerks trying to,push their sense of morality onto a group of people who are probably more deserving of our respect than the lawmakers trying to demoralize the transgender population.


Wow,the ACLU not only is a disgrace to our country by thinking you are upholding our constitutional rights but you are a disappointment to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. No where in the bible does it claim your so called "rights". First of all abortion of any shape or form is murder and the women who got pregnant in the first place made that decision when she had sex. She is accountable to do the right thing and that is to have the baby and if she can't handle being a parent then she should give it up for adoption. Second, God made a women for a man period.It is not our right to intervene with that. You would not be here if it was any other way. Life is really about common sense and no one has that anymore. If we would live like God intended us to live (which you can refer to the bible for any questions on this), this world would be perfect. There would be no sexually transmitted diseases, no children left behind, no pain and suffering. The constitution was written according to the bible as well. Now we have so called liberals (ACLU) in this country and the sad part is that everything that God intended will be destroyed. I am a christian and I believe in God and I will hold on to my "rights" and my belief until Jesus comes back for me.


p.s. you probably won't post my comment because after I tried to post it, I recieved this message "Your comment has been queued for review by site administrators and will be published after approval" WOW, so much for freedom of speech. It's only free when it pertains to what ACLU club members have to say.


I am not religious because among other things, if there's a God, then why do bad things happen in world I don't care about the gay/lesbian marriage topic which law allows and admit information war by my side was lost on homosexuality, when topic mainly became about the boring gay marriage topic and only once in a while about homosexuality's risks. Truth about homosexuality's dangers don't change and truth must be told though information war is lost. Homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health like tobacco & needs to be treated like tobacco use by adults. If willing & knowing adults want to use tobacco or do gay/lesbian conduct, then that's their life, but it must be treated as harmful like tobacco is. I know what APA, mainstream psychologists & psychiatrists say about gay/lesbian conduct, but they are ideologues. I think that they must make it a crime to do sex changes.

I have thought about this & don't think any1 can rebut conclusion that childhood sex abuse victims of gay/lesbian pedophiles have more risk of turning out gay/lesbian by copying the conduct they learned because think you know that conduct incl. sexual conduct can be learned. Think you know it is possible for people who are victims of same sex molestation (such as victims of gay pedophile priests) to copy this sexual conduct and do gay conduct in adulthood incl. turn out to be gay pedophiles.

Stay Informed