Though widely hyped bills attacking LGBT equality in states like Indiana have already floundered, South Dakota is proceeding with several problematic bills. Wednesday morning, the House State Affairs Committee advanced two anti-LGBT bills by 10–3 votes, encouraged along by several conservative groups.
HB 1107 mirrors the First Amendment Defense Act introduced in Congress; it prevents the state from “discriminating” against any organization —
i.e. altering tax treatment, fining, denying a charitable deduction, withholding grants or contracts, or terminating benefits — if that organization refuses to serve same-sex couples. In other words, it would require state-subsidized discrimination.
HB 1112 would ban transgender athletes from participating on school sports teams that match their appropriate gender. The committee amended the bill such that it doesn’t stipulate that students’ sex is determined by their birth certificates, but it still voids the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s previous decision to recognize transgender athletes. It also requires that the association’s board of directors “may not adopt any transgender policy without the consent of the Legislature.”