Freedom at Risk in South Dakota

Young trans boys and girls living in the state of South Dakota faced the idea of having to legally identify as someone they don’t believe to be. This idea was proposed in order to protect these children from an irreparable future impact that they currently cannot understand. 

Kids stand against anti-trans laws | Photo Courtesy of TheHill

HB 1057 was an anti-trans bill passed by the South Dakota House of Representatives early this February illegalizing the act of gender reassignment procedures on minors. This law prohibits doctors from permitting hormone or puberty blockers to children under 16. If disobeyed, HB 1057, also known as the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, would require doctors who perform procedures on transgender minors to pay a $2,000 fine or accept possible jail time. 

Rep. Fred Deutsch, the bill’s sponsor, introduced the legislation after noticing young children posting about their suffering on the internet. Deutsch was disturbed by the idea of these sexual reassignment procedures and their possible similarities to horrific moments in his family’s past and in history.

Rep. Fred Deutsch states his claim in favor of trans laws | Photo Courtesy of Gay City News

“You know, I’m the son of a Holocaust survivor. I’ve had family members killed in Auschwitz. And I’ve seen the pictures of the bizarre medical experiments. I don’t want that to happen to our kids. And that’s what’s going on right now,” Deutsch said, and quickly regretted, during an interview with Family Research Council President, Tony Perkins. 

Through passing this legislation, Deutsch and the conservative lawmakers who support him hoped to  bring awareness to this suffering in the best interest of trans children and their parents. 

South Dakota teachers standing up for their trans students | Photo Courtesy of LGBTQNation

With much opposition from human rights activists and parents of transgender children, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted against the legislation, effectively killing the bill and allowing transgender girls and boys state-wide to become their true selves. 

Although rejected in South Dakota, similar bills have recently been proposed in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Oklahoma and many other states nation-wide. 2019 may have been the year to fully express yourself, but it seems as the new decade progresses, so does opposition to this freedom. 

Written by Roxy Hudson

Roxy Hudson is Co-Editor-in-Chief for the MCSun, and is going on her third full year of writing with the Sun Staff. She is a Senior runner for the Varsity Cross Country and Track Team and a member of MC's Varsity Soccer Team. When she is not spending her time running in circles on the track, Roxy is usually chilling on the couch with her two adorable chocolate labs or whipping up a tasty dish in the kitchen.

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