HB1080 passes the South Dakota House

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) — After an emotional and sometimes angry debate today (Thursday), the South Dakota House of Representatives passes a measure that would prevent various medical treatments of minors who wish to undergo gender reassignment.

The vote was 60 to 70.

After the bill sponsor, Republican Rep. Bethany Soye (soy) from Sioux Falls, said some procedures were castration and mutilation, Democratic Rep. Linda Duba (doo-bah) from Sioux Falls angrily replied.

“It is not mutilation and castration,” Rep. Duba said. “I am tired of hearing this on the floor of the House.”

Proponents of the bill said it was necessary to prevent what they say are irreversible and dangerous aftereffects of gender-changing operations and drugs.

One proponent, Republican Rep. Brandei (Brandy) Schaefbauer (Shay-if-bower) from Aberdeen, quoted a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. supporting HB 1080.

That drew a strong rebuke from Democratic Rep. Kameron Nelson from Sioux Falls, the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the state legislature.

“Today, we’ve heard some very gross comments from members of this body,” Rep. Nelson said. “To use his (King’s) words is reprehensible.”

Much of the debate centered on the rights of the child, the parents, and doctors versus protecting youth from what may prove to be dangerous medical practices akin to lobotomies.

“This is true health and healing,” Rep. Soye said. “It is to help, not harm,” a reference to what supporters say the bill does.

The measure now moves to a Senate committee.