From the Argus Leader, the Family Heritage Alliance has announced that they are championing a transgender bathroom bill for the 2017 legislative session, despite threats of a ballot measure:
The leader of a conservative state advocacy group Wednesday said he plans to bring another so-called transgender bathroom bill in 2017.
Dale Bartscher, executive director of the Family Heritage Alliance, said the conservative Christian group approved a draft of a bill last week that would bar transgender students from using the bathroom, locker room or shower room if it doesn’t match their biological gender at birth. The bill calls for schools to offer accommodations for “students with unique privacy needs, including transgender students.”
While details of the legislation, including which legislator would carry it, weren’t firm Wednesday, Bartscher said it was important to bring the debate back to the Legislature. He said he hopes it could be approved there sooner than at the ballot box, where voters could have a chance to weigh in on the issue in 2018.
“Quite frankly, we don’t want to see any initiated measure in 2018, we want to see the Legislature approve it and the governor sign it,” Bartscher told Argus Leader Media. “This issue is on the front burner for a lot of South Dakotans.”
This is coming at the same time as North Carolina is preparing to debate whether or not to repeal their own measure similar to what’s being proposed:
The legislature meets Wednesday to consider repeal of HB2, a state law requiring transgender people to use the public bathroom associated with the sex listed on their birth certificate. The law has prompted companies such as PayPal Holdings Inc. to cancel investments and sports leagues, including the N.C.-based Atlantic Coast Conference, to cancel tournament games that were scheduled to be held in the state.
The liberal Charlotte council voted 7-2 in an emergency session to a full repeal of the city ordinance the council passed in February that prompted the Republican-led legislature to then pass HB2 in March. The council had met Monday on the same issue, in hopes of adhering to the terms of a behind-the-scenes deal with Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper and the GOP-led legislature.
The unexpected moves by the Democrat-dominated Charlotte city council, and countermoves by the Republican-dominated state legislature, come on the heels of last week’s special legislative session reducing the power of the incoming Democratic governor.
The well of political goodwill in the state “is very poisoned,” said J. Michael Bitzer, a politics professor at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. “It just seems like both sides are trying to make one another sweat as much as possible,” he said. North Carolina has had fierce partisan battles in the past, he said, but “this has taken it to a whole new level,” he added.
The word is on the street in South Dakota that there may be pressure being placed upon some of South Dakota’s larger communities via their convention bureaus and chambers of commerce from outside groups intimating that they would bypass South Dakota for national conventions and tournaments should such a measure pass.
Will that influence legislators in the 2017 legislative session? We shall see.