Dozens protest transgender female athletics legislation

February 27, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Dozens of advocates for transgender students protested in Sioux Falls and around the state on Saturday to speak out against legislation that prohibits transgender girls from participating in female sports at public schools.

The bill, which has passed the House and was sent to a Senate committee, means female sports would only be available to participants who are female based on their biological gender at birth. The bill’s sponsors say it will promote fairness in female sports. Opponents of the bill include the American Civil Liberties Union, which says it is unconstitutional.


The Argus Leader reported that more than 75 people gathered at the Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls as part of the statewide protests. Protesters held signs promoting rights of transgender people, and chanted “Transphobes have got to go!” and “Trans rights now!”

Susan Williams, executive director of the Transformation Project Advocacy Network, said: “We want to show these trans kids that we have their backs, we’re here for them and there are people here that will fight for their rights.”

A group of South Dakota teachers participated to show support for their students.

Ashley McKeown, a Roosevelt High School teacher, said: “I think it’s important for them to see that their teachers are fighting for them not just inside the classroom but outside the classroom as well.”