South Dakota vetoes oppressive bill

 Columnist Diana Arroyo.

Columnist Diana Arroyo.

The transgender community has become more acceptedin these past few years. With famous transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner, once known as Bruce Jenner, people have been praising and embracing those for their bravery to step out in the world for who they truly are.

In that aspect, young transgender teens have become comfortable with who they are as well as the people that surround them, including their own peers, in public places such as their schools. This past Tuesday, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have required transgender students to use the bathroom of their biological sex at birth.

“Gov. Daugaard made the right call in vetoing this dangerous legislation, sparing South Dakota the risky and costly experiment of becoming the first state to mandate discrimination against transgender youth in violation of federal law and student privacy and well-being,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center, in an interview with CNN.

Why even try to pass such law if there are no cries of uncomfortable students having transgenders in their bathroom? Those brave young teens who probably already had a hard time adjusting to their new identities don’t need to be repressed even further. If a transgender girl is restricted from using the bathroom of the gender she associates with, how will they ever be able to really embrace their identity if they are still seen as their biological sex?

“It singles out transgender individuals and forces them to use something that they’re not comfortable using,” Nathan Leonard, a transgender teen and high school freshman from Watertown, told CNN.

Many transgender advocates applauded this decision and mentioned how South Dakota is not a place where discrimination is allowed nor valued, just as this nation should be as a whole. Many similar bills were proposed in other states such as Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin, to name a few, but South Dakota is the closest to pass such bill.

Many parents wanted the bill to pass for the concerns of their children using the same bathroom as someone who is transgender. It’s understandable   parents would have some level of uncomfortableness but it would also mean they themselves are intolerant towards the transgender community. It’s been clear transgender students’ peers are accepting of them in the bathroom and there shouldn’t be a reason to make them stand out more than they may already do in a public place.

The veto of this bill is a great example of how our society is becoming more acceptable towards the transgender community.

At the end of the day, it’s unfair to them to be treated as unequal in communal places, such as public schools. If this bill passed, it would have just added that level of discrimination towards transgender students and would have made them feel uncomfortable, something they fear for just like anyone else.