The deadline is nearing for Governor Dennis Daugaard to either veto or sign into law HB 1008, which sets new bathroom rules for transgender students.

Daugaard says he is personally researching more on the transgender bathroom bill and recently met with transgender students and their families. He said meeting with the students help "put a human face" on the bill.

Thomas Lewis, a student at Lincoln High School, recently told the Associated Press "the bill makes him feel like he’s not a human being and that the state doesn’t accept who he is."

As the issue has gained national attention, Daugaard says where opinions are coming from matters and that he will have to weigh all sides before coming to a final decision.

The bill received even more scrutiny after South Dakota Senator David Omdahl referred to people in the transgender community as being "twisted."

“This is definitely a good bill,” he said in defense of HB 1008. “What’s this about? This is about protecting our children. And I’m sorry if you’re so twisted you don’t know who you are.”

“They are treating the wrong part of the anatomy,” Omdahl added. “They ought to be treating up here [pointing to his head].”

The controversy also reached transgender Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, who urged her Twitter followers to tell Daugaard to reject the measure.

According to the Associated Press the "U.S. Department of Education repeatedly has warned public schools that a 1970s sex discrimination law makes it illegal to deny transgender students access to facilities of their choice."

The deadline for the Governor’s decision is next Tuesday March 1st.


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