Legislators confronted about HB 1217 at Rapid City Cracker Barrel

Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 5:04 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - During Saturday’s Cracker Barrel at Western Dakota Tech, legislators were confronted with questions surrounding House Bill 1217.

The bill would “promote continued fairness in women’s sports” by making people compete on sports teams that match their gender assigned at birth.

One of the questions posed was: “Why do you feel transgender youth should be refused the right to participate as the gender they identify with?”

Becky Drury from District 32 brought up how it would be unfair if a child born a boy to compete on a girls team in the public school system. Drury recommended private sports in that situation.

She says it’s been a long fight to get equal sports for girls.

“It’s OK for kids to be out on the playground and have races against each other and play tag, but then once you get into middle school, there’s some differences in the physiology of people and that’s just the way it is,” says Drury.

But one legislator at the cracker barrel came out against the bill.

Jess Olson from District 34 says he has spoken against this type of legislation for a long time, and this specific bill flies right in the face of title nine.

She says it would actually limit opportunities for girls and uses a recent Texas law as an example.

“So if we want to talk about girl’s rights and protecting girls, let’s get our facts straight, let’s look at what has happened. And when you pass law, an unnecessary law, that limits opportunities for girls, I will never vote in favor of that,” says Olson.

House Bill 1217 has been referred to the Senate State Affairs committee.

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