Human Rights Campaign: South Dakota Lawmakers Turn Their Backs on Trans Kids Once Again

Pierre, SD - February 9, 2023 - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemned members of the South Dakota Senate for passing HB 1080, a bill that would ban age-appropriate, best practice gender-affirming care for transgender youth. The bill was passed by the South Dakota House last week.

The legislation, which will likely be signed into law by Governor Kristi Noem, would cause healthcare providers to lose their medical license or other certifications if they administer what is age appropriate, medically necessary, life-saving care to transgender children - care that is supported by every credible medical organization representing over 1.3 million doctors in the United States. South Dakota lawmakers are caving to a far-right pressure campaign spearheaded by political extremists and disinformation on social media and other platforms. It is one of hundreds of bills being pushed by national anti-LGBTQ+ organizations across dozens of states.

Gender-affirming care is age-appropriate care that is medically necessary for the well-being of many transgender and non-binary people who experience symptoms of gender dysphoria, or distress that results from having one's gender identity not match their sex assigned at birth. Gender-affirming care is the integration of medical, mental health and social services. For transgender children, transition is an entirely social process which may include a new name or pronouns, wearing different clothes or styling one's hair differently. At puberty, doctors may?in consultation with and having the informed consent of the transgender youth and their parents?prescribe reversible medication known as puberty-blockers, which allow a young person to safely reach an age in which they're truly able to consent to further treatment.

In response, Cathryn Oakley, HRC's State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel released the following statement:

"South Dakota is once again leading the charge to harm transgender youth. Lawmakers have staked out a radical position that is contrary to science, contrary to consensus best practices, and contrary to the best interests of transgender youth. In ignoring the facts and spreading dangerous misinformation about lifesaving care, these politicians are irrevocably harming young transgender kids - again. These lawmakers don't know more about gender-affirming care every major medical association, representing more than 1.3 million doctors. We urge Governor Noem to reject this dangerous, discriminatory, and hurtful legislation being sent to her desk today."

Get the facts about gender-affirming care:

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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