SD Senate Committee Kills Gender-Change Bill

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota State Senate Health and Human Services Committee has effectively killed a bill prohibiting doctors from performing gender reassignment surgery or prescribing of medications to stop natural puberty for gender-change in children under 16.

A motion to pass the bill failed 5-2 while one delaying it until the last day of the session, when there wouldn’t be enough time for the full Senate to act, passed by the same margin. The bill had passed the South Dakota House 46-23 last month.

Senator and former TV anchor Helene Duhamel of Rapid City was part of the majority and called the issue of gender-change “a parent issue” that is rare in South Dakota and not a state issue

Senator and bill supporter Phil Jensen said most people he’s spoken with about it backed the bill, explaining the he believes in protecting those that are most vulnerable among us (and) minor children are most vulnerable and need protection.”

Before the committee meeting, LGBT advocates protested outside the Capitol. Two rode horses on the front grounds of the Capitol while dozens of others from around the state carried flags and banners protesting a spate of bills addressing LGBT rights

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