On February 9, 2016, Equality South Dakota held their annual Legislative Day. A number of the attendees sat in the House of Representatives gallery as our elected officials debated the merits of HB1008. This bill will restrict transgender individuals access to certain restrooms and locker rooms in public schools based on a person’s birth certificate and not their identity. It did pass the House and now it moves on to the Senate this week.
Members of BHCFE and EqSD, next attended the Democratic Caucuses. These are held each day so the elected officials can catch each other up on what happened in their committees.
The rest of the day’s events were held at View 34. Senator Angie Buhl O’Donnell presented a class on how bills travel through both houses and what tactics are used to either pass a bill or defeat it. After that, the reception for the legislators started. While sharing food and drink, conversations centered heavily around the four bills that will impact the LGBT community of South Dakota.
Equality South Dakota holds this event each year. If you want to attend, check out their web site, http://www.eqsd.org (which is under construction) and their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/21811498688/ for updates on these bills, how to contact your legislator, and when the next Pierre is scheduled.