U.S. Department of Education Warns, Caitlyn Jenner Urges Veto of South Dakota Transgender Bill
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Transgender Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner has called on South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard to veto a bill that would require transgender schoolchildren to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their sex at birth.
Jenner urged her Twitter followers on Monday to tell Daugaard to reject the measure and to not make South Dakota the first state to adopt such a law. She also tweeted a link to an American Civil Liberties Union page opposing the bill.
The measure would require schools to make a "reasonable accommodation" for transgender children, such as a single-occupancy bathroom.
Meanwhile, a group of transgender people is meeting Gov. Dennis Daugaard as he weighs signing a bill that would make South Dakota the first state to require public school students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.
Daugaard's office says the meeting is Tuesday. A Sioux Falls nonprofit is also holding an event then at the Capitol to support transgender children.
The Center for Equality requested the meeting because Daugaard said he hadn't knowingly met a transgender person. Daugaard says it's always good to have more information.
The governor says he hasn't decided how to act on the bill. The measure would require schools to make a "reasonable accommodation" for transgender children such as a single-occupancy bathroom.
The governor has also met with the bill's sponsors.
In addition, 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.
Schools around the country, some fearing federal investigations that could cost them millions in funding, generally have yielded to the guidance. Now, a backlash is brewing.
The Human Rights Campaign said in a policy brief Monday that lawmakers in at least 22 other states have introduced similar legislation.
The defiance at the statehouse level could test the limits of the Obama administration's advocacy on transgender rights.
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