The South Dakota High School Activities Association recently updated its policies to be inclusive of transgender students in sports programs that correspond with the gender they identify as.
In response, South Dakota legislator Roger Hunt (R) has introduced legislation to closely examine the student's genitals.
Republican South Dakota legislator Roger Hunt wants someone to look at transgender athletes' genitals before they can compete. He has proposed legislation that would require a visual inspection of each athlete's private areas and a check of their "original birth certificate" in response to a change in policy by a high school athletic group that allows students to decide for themselves what gender group they will compete in.
Beyond the obvious fact that this is a sick and twisted proposal and a blatant invasion of privacy by government, it also demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of transgender identity.
Genitalia is not a binary that strictly dictates the gender a transgender person identifies as nor should it be reduced to that. Not all transgender people undergo reassignment surgery nor should they be forced to just to conform to society's expectations of personal plumbing.
Furthermore, if we can agree that words have meaning, a transgender person's "original birth certificate" necessarily wouldn't reflect the gender they currently identify as.
But let's get back to how fucking sick Roger Hunt and his supportive colleagues are. The genitalia of minors and their presence in school locker rooms apparently keeps him up at night and his solution for the non-existent threat posed by transgender students is a proposal that should make even the faintest of libertarians squirm.
The bad news is the South Dakota High School Activities Association may reverse its decision during a meeting this week without any intervention by lawmakers.
It's possible the Association will not reverse its policy which would prompt a renewed push by lawmakers to closely examine the private parts of minor students, but this could become complicated very quickly because, as ThinkProgress points out, transgender students are protected by federal law.
The association’s board will take another look at the policy in its meeting next week, which is why some Republican lawmakers say advocates against the policy should wait until after the meeting to push Hunt’s legislation, the Rapid City Journal reports.
This legislation may go against federal law, however. Transgender students are also protected by Title IX in single-sex extracurricular activities, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance, released in December of last year.