February 27, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

South Dakota Apologizes and Pays $300,000 in Settlement to Transgender Advocacy Group

State Resolves Lawsuit Over Contract Termination With the Transformation Project.

The State of South Dakota has issued a required apology and agreed to pay $300,000 as part of a settlement with a transgender advocacy group known as the Transformation Project, as reported by the Associated Press. This comes as a resolution to a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit against Governor Kristi Noem and her health secretary after the termination of a contract with the group.

The legal dispute arose when the state abruptly canceled a contract for a community health worker in December 2022, including a state-administered federal grant of approximately $136,000. The Transformation Project received about $39,000 of the grant before the contract was terminated.

The nonprofit contended that the state’s decision was politically motivated, pointing to Governor Noem’s statement to conservative media outlet The Daily Signal. In her remarks, Noem expressed her belief that the state government should not be involved in the group’s initiatives. 

In a separate development, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the largest tribe in South Dakota, has taken a stand against Governor Kristi Noem. Following her remarks characterizing an “invasion” at the border, her announcement of sending razor wire to Texas, and her views on unauthorized immigration impacting reservations, the tribe has barred Noem from the Pine Ridge Reservation.

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