PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s House has rejected a measure seeking to scrap a policy allowing transgender students to play on the athletic team that matches their gender identity.
The 34-34 vote Monday fell short of the majority needed to send the bill to the Senate. It’s the fourth bill critics have labeled anti-transgender that state lawmakers have rejected this session.
The bill would have required a student’s sex to be determined by their birth certificate or a South Dakota High School Activities Association physical exam form.
House Majority Leader Lee Qualm, the bill’s sponsor, says it’s “all about fair competition.” Democratic Rep. Kelly Sullivan urged her colleagues to oppose the bill, saying lawmakers must be focused on work to positively affect South Dakota.
Activities Association Executive Director Dan Swartos has said a “very small number” of transgender students participate with the exemption.
The Senate rejected a similar bill last month.