A South Dakota bathroom bill is being called the nation's first state law to explicitly bar transgender students from bathrooms that correspond to their self-proclaimed gender identity.
House Bill 1008 passed the state senate 20-15 on Tuesday, and will become law should Gov. Dennis Daugaard sign it, The Associated Press reported
Supporters of the bill said that it defines a student's biological sex as "the physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth."
According to the bill
, transgender students who do not wish to use the bathroom or locker room corresponding to their biological sex must be given a "reasonable accommodation" such as a single-occupancy bathroom or nurse's bathroom.
As Buzzfeed reported
, one supporter, Sen. Brock Greenfield, asked from the senate floor: "Do you feel it appropriate for a 13-year-old girl to be exposed to the anatomy of a boy?"
"This issue has been thrust upon us by an activist group of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. It’s only been a product of recent decisions made at the federal level," he went on to say.
Opponents of the bill said that the law could jeopardize the state's federal education funding, as the federal Title IX anti-discrimination law was recently changed to stop local officials from barring transgender students from the bathroom of their choice.
Supporters of the bill said it came in response to those changes made by the Obama administration.
The Washington Post noted
that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond earlier this year heard arguments in a case that could ultimately be relevant to the potential South Dakota law.
In that case, transgender 16-year-old Gavin Grimm was barred from using the boy's bathroom. A federal judge declined Grimm's request for a preliminary injunction. The decision has now been appealed by Grimm.
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