ADF attorney to testify on govt nondiscrimination, student athlete bills in SD

ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp available for media interviews following hearing
Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Attorney sound bite:  Matt Sharp

UPDATE: Due to a cancelled flight, Matt Sharp will be testifying via telephone instead of in person. He is still available remotely for media interviews.
 
WHO: ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp
WHAT: Testifying on South Dakota HB 1107 and HB 1112
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7:45 a.m. CST
WHERE: South Dakota House State Affairs Committee, Room 414, 500 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. – Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Sharp will testify Wednesday before the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee on two proposed laws: HB 1107, which would “ensure government nondiscrimination in matters of religious beliefs and moral convictions,” and HB 1112, which would establish birth certificates as the primary standard “in identifying a student’s sexual identity for purpose of participation in high school activities.”

“Laws that protect the free exercise of diverse views about marriage promote tolerance and contribute to a more respectful, diverse, and peaceful society. Only the explicit protections of HB 1107 can ensure courts and bureaucrats will not be able to discriminate against individuals, churches, and religious organizations on account of their beliefs and teachings regarding marriage,” Sharp explained.

“HB 1112 protects the safety and privacy of every South Dakota student, and ensures that female athletes are not denied the playing opportunities and scholarships otherwise available to them,” Sharp added. “By requiring students to play on sports teams that correspond to their biological sex, HB 1112 reduces the risk of potentially serious injuries to female athletes, protects their privacy, and ensures that they don’t lose playing opportunities and important scholarships to members of the opposite sex.”

HB 1107 specifies that “the state may not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that the person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” about marriage as the union of one man and one woman or about whether a person’s biological sex is changeable.

HB 1112 specifies that the “sole determinant of a student’s sexual identity is the sexual identity noted on the student’s certificate of birth. If no sexual identity is noted on the student’s certificate of birth, the sole determinant is the sexual identity noted on the South Dakota High School Activities Association physical exam form that is completed by a health care professional at the student’s physical examination.” If passed and signed into law, the bill would supersede any policy established by the South Dakota High School Activities Commission.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

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