City of Brookings, partners oppose anti-LGBTQ legislation

Abigail Dollins/Argus Leader via AP: LGBT advocate Richard Seese protests a bill that would ban gender confirmation medical treatments for children under 16, Monday, Feb. 10, at the state Capitol in Pierre. Legislation that aimed to prevent South Dakota physicians from giving gender confirmation procedures to children under 16 has been stopped by a Senate committee. A Republican-dominated Senate committee voted 5-2 to kill the proposal.

BROOKINGS – The City of Brookings, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookings Economic Development Corporation, and the Brookings School District are formally opposing any legislation that targets the LGBTQ community, the entities announced Tuesday morning.

“The City of Brookings and those partners listed herein specifically oppose Senate Bills 88, 93, and 109 and House Bills 1057 and 1215,” a press release from the City of Brookings said.

House Bill 1057, legislation aimed at stopping South Dakota physicians from providing puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgery to transgender children under 16, failed to get enough support Monday in a Senate committee. The committee voted 5-2 to kill the proposal.

As introduced, House Bill 1215 would “prohibit the state from endorsing or enforcing certain policies regarding domestic relations.” It says the state may not enforce, endorse or favor policies that permit marriage between anyone other than a man and a woman, and that the state will not ban conversion therapy or affirm homosexual or transgender orientation doctrines.

Senate Bill 88 would “require parental notification of self-injurious behavior expressed during counseling sessions.” The bill that would have required school counselors to inform parents if their child identified as transgender was tabled by the Senate Education Committee last week.

Senate Bill 93 would have “established conditions under which a parent may refuse consent for health care services,” but it was withdrawn at the request of the prime sponsor last week.

Senate Bill 109 would “provide protections for health care decisions governed by conscience.” It has been referred to committee.

“The City of Brookings and strategic partners strongly value inclusive laws, policies, and services for LGBTQ residents who proudly live and work in the Brookings area. It is because of these values that the City of Brookings once again received a score of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) in 2019,” the press release says.

“The City of Brookings and strategic partners are committed to fostering diversity and inclusivity to the highest level in the Brookings region. Through diversity-forward initiatives in conjunction with Brookings Human Rights Commission, South Dakota State University, Brookings High School and more, we oppose any discriminatory legislation and support the equal treatment of all,” the release says.

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