I’ve become jaded enough by this point in my life that political stories rarely shock me, but I must confess that this one caught me off guard. The South Dakota legislature recently passed a common sense bill which would ensure that students attending public schools could retain their privacy in gender separated bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. It was obviously designed to stop the expansion of the SJW movement to force the concept of “transgender students” on everyone else, allowing boys to use the girls’ facilities. But on Tuesday, Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed the bill. (Time)
South Dakota’s governor vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have made it the first state in the U.S. to approve a law requiring transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.
South Dakota would have been the first state to take such a step. But Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard rejected the bill after the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign and transgender students and adults called the legislation discriminatory. The ACLU of South Dakota said earlier Tuesday that if the governor signed the bill, the group would have encouraged any student harmed by the new law to file a federal civil rights complaint…
Daugaard vetoed the measure a week after hearing the personal stories of three opponents of the bill who are transgender in what was his first knowing interaction with transgender people. The governor initially offered a positive reaction to the proposal, but said he needed to research the issue and listen to testimony before making a final decision.
That must have been one heck of a meeting. Daugaard had previously spoken favorably of the bill and most of us expected him to sign it without issue. Perhaps the Governor was concerned over the financial cost of all the lawsuits which would have followed. I suppose it’s also possible that he just didn’t want to fight that particular battle right now. Either way, it’s a huge disappointment. What we really need is a solid court case challenging these laws on both sides of the fight which can be taken up to the Supreme Court for a ruling. This might have been the ideal one.
Emma Brown at the Washington Post recently published a summary of how this issue is supposed to the the new front in the civil rights battle… or something.
In the months since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, school bathrooms have become the new front in the culture wars over LGBT rights. The Obama administration has declared that students have a civil right to use these sex-segregated spaces in accordance with their gender identity, meaning, for example, that a person who is born biologically male but identifies as a female should be able to use a girls’ locker room.
It’s an interpretation of Title IX — the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination — that transgender students and their advocates have cheered. But it also has triggered a ferocious backlash from other advocates, parents and lawmakers who call it an assault on traditional values and student privacy.
Brown is at least right about one thing… this is most certainly a Title IX question. Perhaps its time to set aside all of the ridiculous lawsuits and legislative battles over boys using the girls’ shower and examine this problem from a different angle. Title IX was a well intended effort which addressed some very real issues in the educational system. Unfortunately, it quickly morphed from the practical to the unwieldy and has now become a tool for the SJW movement to warp traditional privacy issues and common decency. I’m not saying we should wipe out Title IX entirely, but it clearly needs a second look with an eye toward putting some limitations on it.