Transgender issues

Inside the state Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Noem appoints new secretary of health

BY: - December 22, 2022

Three days after the previous secretary of the state Department of Health retired, Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed Melissa Magstadt to lead the department, according to a Thursday news release from the governor’s office. Magstadt’s appointment will be effective on the next state work day, which is Tuesday. “Melissa has proven her ability to provide […]

(Illustration by Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Transgender advocacy group plans to sue state over contract cancellation

BY: - December 22, 2022

A transgender advocacy organization plans to sue the state of South Dakota for civil rights violations over Gov. Kristi Noem’s abrupt cancellation of a health care facilitation contract with the group. Brendan Johnson, a former U.S. district attorney who works for the law firm Robins Kaplan, told South Dakota Searchlight that his firm will represent […]

A protester displays a sign at the "Stop Criminalizing Trans Existence" protest in Sioux Falls on Feb. 1, 2020. The protest was in response to bills introduced during the 2020 legislative session. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Transformation Project calls termination of state contract ‘unwarranted’

BY: - December 20, 2022

A nonprofit advocacy organization for transgender South Dakotans says it has fulfilled its contractual obligations with the state and is calling the state’s termination of the contract “unwarranted.” In a letter Friday, Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration terminated its contract with The Transformation Project, alleging numerous contract violations committed by the group. Meanwhile, the governor’s spokesman […]

Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her annual budget address Dec. 6, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/SD Searchlight)

Noem terminates contract for transgender advocacy group

BY: and - December 19, 2022

Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration issued contradictory reasons for terminating a transgender advocacy group’s contract with the state Department of Health. A Friday letter from the department alleged numerous contract violations committed by the group, while the governor’s spokesman told the conservative media outlet that first reported on the letter that Noem does not support the […]