The House on Monday, Feb. 25, voted down House Bill 1225 with a 34-34 vote.
The bill would nullify current policy in the state, which allows students to compete according to their preferred gender identity, following an application process. The South Dakota High School Activities Association, a nonprofit independent from the state, has had the rule in place since 2015.
The bill’s prime sponsor House Majority Leader Lee Qualm, R-Platte, said HB 1225 wasn’t about gender: “HB 1225 is about sex. The male sex and the female sex and their ability in athletics.”
“There are differences and that’s plain fact,” Qualm said. “You can’t get away from that. In high school athletics, it’s unfair for girls to be subjected to competition against boys. They just can’t compete.”