- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The latest on a South Dakota proposal that would require transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

The primary sponsor of legislation that would’ve required transgender students to use bathrooms matching their sex at birth says he’s asking lawmakers not to override the governor’s veto.

Republican Rep. Fred Deutsch said Tuesday that more focus on the issue would detract from the Legislature’s other accomplishments this session.

Deutsch says the bill was meant to be a practical solution to “our evolving social values on gender issues.” He says emotions on both sides of the issue dominated news coverage and the debate over it.

Deutsch says he still believes the bill was a good piece of legislation, but he says the national focus on South Dakota should be on the state’s business environment and the excellent work being done it the state’s schools.

When the legislation was approved, it received enough votes in the South Dakota House to override a veto, but not in the Senate.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard rejected the bill Tuesday afternoon.

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6:05 p.m.

The Human Rights Commission says the voices of fairness and equality prevailed when South Dakota’s governor vetoed a bill that would have required transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their sex at birth.

The group’s president, Chad Griffin, said Tuesday that students’ rights and dignity prevailed against overwhelming odds and vicious opponents in the state Legislature.

The American Civil Liberties Union says Gov. Dennis Daugaard made a symbolic statement when he vetoed the measure Tuesday. The group says it shows that South Dakota’s transgender students are a valued part of the community.

Heather Smith, executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota, says people from across the state and country took time to reach out to the governor to urge this veto. She says that’s the true testament of democracy.

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5:30 p.m.

A transgender high school student in Sioux Falls says he’s elated that Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have required transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their sex at birth.

Thomas Lewis says he’s had a lot of support at Lincoln High School. But he says Daugaard’s veto means that such support now goes beyond his friends and extends to state government. The 18-year-old says, “the government’s not going to hold me back from who I really am.”

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the proposal last month, with supporters saying it was meant to protect student privacy.

Daugaard vetoed the legislation Tuesday, saying the bill didn’t address any pressing issue and that such decisions were best left to local school officials.

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5:10 p.m.

South Dakota’s governor has vetoed a bill that would have required transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.

South Dakota would have been the first state to take such a step. But Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard (DOO’-gard) rejected the bill Tuesday after the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign joined transgender students and adults in calling the legislation discriminatory.

In his veto message, Daugaard wrote that the bill “does not address any pressing issue.”

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the proposal last month. Supporters said the measure was meant to protect student privacy.

Under the plan, schools would have been required to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for transgender students, such as a single-occupancy bathroom or the “controlled use” of a staff-designated restroom, locker room or shower room.

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3:25 p.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it will encourage affected students to file civil rights complaints if South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs a bill requiring transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.

ACLU of South Dakota executive director Heather Smith says that if the bill is signed into law Tuesday, the organization would encourage any student harmed by the legislation to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Smith says the ACLU would represent any such students in their complaints.

Daugaard faces a Tuesday deadline to make a decision on the legislation, which was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature last month.

Smith says a person or organization also could also file a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of such a law.

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12:50 p.m.

A spokesman for South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says the governor will sign or veto legislation regarding the use of school bathrooms by transgender students rather than letting the bill become law without his signature.

Daugaard said his decision would come Tuesday afternoon, but he didn’t say how he plans to act on the bill when questioned as he left an event at the state Capitol rotunda.

His chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, says the governor wouldn’t choose the option of letting the legislation become law by not signing it.

Daugaard’s deadline to either sign or veto the bill is Tuesday. The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature approved the measure in February.

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10 a.m.

South Dakota’s governor faces a Tuesday deadline to make a decision about a bill that would require transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.

Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard hasn’t said what he plans to do with the proposal. If he signs the legislation, or allows it to take effect without his signature, South Dakota would become the first state in the nation with such a law.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign have condemned the legislation as discriminatory, but Republican supporters say it’s meant to protect the privacy of students.

Under the legislation, schools would be required to make a “reasonable accommodation” for transgender students, such as single-occupancy bathroom.

The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature approved the plan in February.

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