South Dakota bill introduced to challenge the right to marriage

Abigail McArthur-Self, Editor-in-Chief

In South Dakota, a set of bills was introduced that targets LGBTQ+ citizens in the state. 

One such bill, House Bill 1057 (HB 1057), was recently killed by a Senate committee that voted to postpone the bill past the end of the legislature’s schedule. The bill included penalties for medical professionals who helped transgender minors transition. Had the bill been passed, doctors could have been penalized for performing gender-affirming surgeries, administering hormone therapy and administering puberty blockers. The bill passed the House of Representatives before being referred to the Senate committee that postponed it. 

HB 1057 is not the only bill that has targeted the LGBTQ+ community. According to the South Dakota Legislature’s website, House Bill 1215 (HB 1215) would “prohibit the state from endorsing or enforcing certain policies regarding domestic relations.” The bill would, among other things, prohibit gay marriage, the protection of LBGTQ+ people from discrimination based on their identities and the recognition of transgender and nonbinary individuals’ gender identities on any legal documents. If passed, the bill would also prevent the state from banning conversation therapy and would group homosexaulity and being transgender with “zoophilia.”

Some believe the bill, like the bills passed on abortion rights in some states, is actually intended to get the issue brought up in the Supreme Court. In this case, the goal would seem to be overturning the national right to gay marriage, as this is one of the things the law would seek to change. Under the current Supreme Court verdict, banning gay marriage is unconstitutional, therefore that particular section of the bill would be in conflict with federal regulations. 

The bill was introduced to the house floor on Jan. 30 by Representative Tony Randolph. Randolph also helped sponsor HB 1057 and bills on other controversial topics such as abortion and sex education. So far, HB 1215 remains in the House of Representatives.