The South Dakota Senate has finally acted on the long-gestating measure to criminalize transgender student bathroom use.
The legislation, HB1008, was passed by the South Dakota House earlier this month and affirmed by the state Senate yesterday. The legislation will now head to the governor's desk.
Under the plan, schools would have to provide a "reasonable accommodation" for transgender students, such as a single-occupancy bathroom or the "controlled use" of a staff-designated restroom, locker room or shower room.
Republican Sen. David Omdahl urged other legislators Tuesday to support the bill to "preserve the innocence of our young people."
The process of preserving the "innocence of your young people" apparently includes closely scrutinizing their genitals and bathroom use.
"I'm sorry if you're so twisted you don't know who you are," Omdahl said at a recent event when asked about the bill. "I'm telling you right now, it's about protecting the kids, and I don't even understand where our society is these days."
That's exactly it, isn't it? He doesn't understand and he probably never will. Hatred and fear motivates men like state Senator David Omdahl to support a bill that requires close monitoring of children's privates.
Who is the real threat here?
You could diligently explain to lawmakers like Omdalh or Roger Hunt that gender is not a binary that is exclusively determined by personal plumbing, but it wouldn't make a difference. They've decided not to understand.
Unless Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) vetoes the bill, the state will likely find itself in court defending the law from numerous lawsuits not the least of which could be filed by the federal government.
As you may recall, the Department of Justice filed a legal brief with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals stating that transgender student rights are protected under Title IX. South Dakota risks losing significant amounts of federal funding if the state violates federal law by discriminating based on gender identity.