Despite the increase in LGBTQ+ rights awareness that President Biden has brought to his role, state justice systems are still attempting to pass anti-trans legislation.
Lawmakers in both South Dakota and Montana recently passed a pair of bills, respectively: one that world restrict the ability for trans people to correct their birth certificate, and one that would prevent trans athletes from playing on the school sports teams that align with their gender.
South Dakota’s bill, BH 1076, was killed in the Health and Human Services Committee and thought to be out of the picture. However, due to a “smoke out,” which is when a vote is overridden by a third of the chamber voting to bring a piece of policy to the floor, it was passed in the state House 39-31 and heads next to the Senate Health and Human Services committee, where it’s likely to pass thanks to a Republican majority.
In Montana, the Senate is preparing to discuss HB 112, which would force trans student athletes to compete on teams according to “biological sex.” It’s been met with widespread opposition; over 150 local and national companies even signed a letter opposing the bill. While it was approved in the House by a wide majority — 61-38 — and despite Montana’s house also holding a Republican majority, there is some speculation that lawmakers may decide to reject the bill. HB 113, a different anti-trans bill that would have banned doctors from offering gender-affirming care to trans minors, was recently passed and then killed when five Republicans reversed their votes the next day.
If either of the bills pass, the ACLU has already made it clear that they would overturn the bans in court. They did so recently after Idaho passed an anti-trans birth certificate policy and sports bill the day before the International Trans Day of Remembrance last year. The legal group was able to successfully lobby for a pair of preliminary injunctions, which blocked the state from enforcing either law.