Transgender Bathroom Battle Continues With Filed Petition
"There's other ways to handle it other than throwing opposite genders together"
The debate over which bathroom transgender students should use at school has resurfaced in South Dakota.
Earlier this year, Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would require students to use the room aligned to the sex they were born.
But now, one man from Box Elder wants voters to have the final say in 2018.
“People were upset about it and somebody asked ‘well why didn’t it go to the vote of the people and I said, well it still can’,” says Jack Heyd of Box Elder.
Heyd says it’s time to take matters into voters hands after House Bill 1008 didn’t go into law.
“There’s other ways to handle it other than throwing opposite genders together.”
Heyd is sponsoring an initiated measure that was written similar to the vetoed bill.
It would require students to use bathrooms designated for the same biological sex.
It would also require public schools to provide an accommodation for transgender students.
“I’ve got two girls and I want to guarantee their privacy,” says Heyd. “I don’t want them to be in a situation where there’s somebody who could be of a different gender walking into their bathroom or shower area.”
However, president of The Center for Equality Thomas Christiansen says this measure, just like the transgender bathroom bill, is not something that South Dakota needs.
“Anytime you single out any kind of group, any minority that never boosts well for human rights and equality.”
He says the nonprofit organization was prepared to fight for transgender rights again during the upcoming legislative session, but didn’t expect to this soon.
“We wish we wouldn’t have to work so hard to have equal treatment for everybody,” says Christiansen.
“I’m not trying to single anybody out at all,” says Heyd. “I’m just trying to make sure all children have their privacy protected.”
Hyde needs to collect 13,871 signatures by November 2017 to put his initiated measure on the November 2018 ballot.
But he wants to collect more than that, around 28,000 for some cushion.
KDLT created a poll on both Twitter and online asking people if they would vote for a transgender bathroom bill.
About 80 percent of our viewers say they would not.
Attorney General Marty Jackley released an explanation of this measure, as a requirement of the law.
He was not available for comment today.