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PIERRE, South Dakota, March 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, defied moral conservatives by vetoing a bill that would have protected students' privacy in school bathrooms.

Lawmakers passed the bill to protect female students who did not want to be forced to undress in front of male students, and vice versa. It goes against the Obama administration's position that self-proclaimed “transgender” students must be allowed to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, toilets, and showers of the opposite sex.

Gov. Daugaard said the bill “openly invites federal litigation.” He excused state passivity by saying, “If and when these rare situations arise, I believe local school officials are best positioned to address them.”

Walt Heyer, a former transgender who after cosmetic surgery and years of presenting himself as a woman repented, summarized the South Dakota veto to LifeSiteNews: “A man in fear vetoed a bill that would have projected the privacy and dignity of women.  The biologically correct women will pay an unnecessary painful price for his failure.”

State Rep. Fred Deutsch (R-District 4), who introduced the bill, said the Obama administration overstepped in its interpretation of Title IX's ban on discrimination by extending it to gender-confused children who need help and counseling, not the false affirmation that how they were born is not who they are.

“It was an honest, sincere effort to protect the bodily privacy of our children,” said Rep. Deutsch.

Rep. Deutsch said students' natural, actual, biological sex should determine which restroom they use.

The Obama administration has gone so far as to threaten to withhold federal funding and sue school districts in Illinois and California that sought to allow only boys in the boys' bathroom and only girls in the girls' facilities.

In a press statement after the veto, Rep. Deutsch explained, “Because I think the national focus on South Dakota should be on our positive business environment, strong labor market and the excellent work our schools do, I am going to ask my legislative colleagues to concur with the Governor's veto. Further focus on this issue will detract from the other significant accomplishments of the legislature this session.”

The Heritage Foundation, as well as the Roman Catholic bishops of South Dakota, supported the South Dakota bill.

LGBTQ activists praised the governor's veto, calling the bill “outrageous legislation attacking transgender kids.”

Another South Dakota bill that would allow only boys on boys' sports teams and only girls on girls' teams passed the state House and is awaiting state Senate approval.

“It's a sad day when a Republican governor in a red state cannot bring himself to sign into law legislation protecting the privacy of girls in female restrooms from 'transgender' males who think they're women,” said Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality. “Gov. Daugaard reflects the deteriorating values of the Republican Party–which seems more and more to bend to the liberal media and Political Correctness. If the Republicans do not buck themselves up and return to being confident defenders of Judeo-Christian values, moral-minded conservatives will find a new party that reflects their deeply-held beliefs.”