South Dakota in Bottom Bracket of States on LGBT Equality

Human Rights Watch came to Sioux Falls a couple weeks ago to release a report showing the discrimination that LGBT youth face in South Dakota and other states. Now the Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Federation  provide the State Equality Index showing things may get worse for LGBT South Dakotans before they get better.

South Dakota is one of 28 states in the State Equality Index’s lowest category, in which LGBT citizens are still struggling to reach basic equality:

Most of these states, including Arizona, North Carolina, South Dakota and Florida, have many laws that undermine LGBTQ equality, from those that criminalize HIV and sodomy, to measures allowing religious-based discrimination against LGBTQ people. None have non-discrimination laws that explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity protections; few have hate crime laws with those protections. LGBTQ advocates largely work to defeat bad bills and pass municipal protections for LGBTQ people [Mark Snyder, “Report Finds Opponents of LGBTQ Equality Are Ramping up State Efforts to Sanction Discrimination,” Equality Federation, 2016.12.14].

Human Rights Campaign, up trend in anti-LGBT bills, 2014–2016.
Hey, state legislatures, don’t you have bigger problems to worry about?

The State Equality Index scorecard for South Dakota shows we have none of the laws on non-discrimination, parenting, hate crimes, or health and safety that HRC views as promoting LGBT equality. We have just two of HRC’s ten positive youth laws: measures dealing with cyberbullying and transgender inclusion in sports. Certain religious paranoiacs in the Legislature and the public may undermine that inclusion with another transgender potty bill. Such anti-LGBT bills have surged in the last three years, and while Donald Trump’s Presidential intentions on LGBT policy are unclear, the Human Rights Campaign thinks Trump is opening the door for an even bigger surge of anti-LGBT legislation from conservative activists and legislators who hear chants of “Make America Straight Again.” Trump’s clearest signal that it’s open season on LGBT Americans may be his VP, corporate Christian theocrat Mike Pence.

I know we Democrats are supposed to stop fretting about social justice and refocus on the white working class. That premise is flawed on fact—Hillary Clinton talked all the time jobs and the economy—and on practical, moral policy—social justice is economic justice. There are plenty of LGBT white working class folks, and they are probably having a harder time economically than their straight counterparts. (Hey, you try making a buck while folks around you are giving you skunk eye and telling you where to pee.) Let’s be the party that includes everybody in the American dream and works to remove unnecessary and un-American barriers of bullying and discrimination to education and economic opportunity.

25 Responses to South Dakota in Bottom Bracket of States on LGBT Equality

  1. Porter Lansing

    … sad

  2. Mark Francis


  3. Maybe those puritanical views could be swayed by watching Brokeback Mountain a few more times!

  4. But wait…we have a legislature convening soon that simply will not leave folks alone. They simply can’t wait to throw more rocks in their neighbor’s boat.

  5. Donald Pay

    The targets for haters were being whittled down to almost nothing. But, as they say, “Haters gotta hate.” With Trump and his band of neo-Nazis leading the way, we have an expanding list of hate targets, and a renewed acceptability for bullying and hate crime. Some people might think that the expanded list of acceptable hate targets would reduce the attacks on any one group, but that assumes that acts of hate are a zero-sum game. The more this country accepts bullying and acceptable targets for hate crime, the more of it will occur on all groups.

    With almost assured new attacks on all of the usual target groups, and states like South Dakota doing nothing to limit it, it might be time to consider whether there are 2nd Amendment solutions to bullying and hate crimes. If people feel under renewed danger of attack, the standard American solution to it might be to claim to be “in fear for your life” and just off the haters.

    I’m not recommending it, yet, but it is something to consider as we enter the lawless administration of a hater.

  6. mike from iowa

    2nd amendment solutions, Donald Pay? We have heard that before from one party not willing to accept HRC as the Potus elect.

  7. Mr. Pay, you are frightening me. What if somebody mistook an old man like me who is a staunch conservative as a fellow who hated on the lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgendered individuals and then just shot me as I was simply trying to order breakfast while chatting with a gay friend? That would be an example of libbie hate indeed.

  8. Mr. Pay is starting to sound like Mr. Howie, who is insaner than most and suggesting that perhaps libbies would prefer to settle the elections with a duel. One good thing is that they probably couldn’t put it on pay view so we all could see it even without the fancy channels.

  9. The 2nd Amendment solution is that everyone is armed here, no solution regarding that then. What is the solution would be the rest of the Constitutional Amendments. The 14th Amendment is the one that deals with Civil Rights. Section 1 reads in part: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    South Dakota has long been a champion of the denial of civil rights to those who live within her borders. People really do not want to challenge that to much because we all know that cowboys are cowboys and cowgirls are cowgirls. The facts are just some folks yakking.

  10. Porter Lansing

    Isn’t it ironic, Grudz? Before, the haters were buying guns to protect themselves from the government. Now, the libbies are carrying guns to protect themselves from the haters. It’s been proven that liberals are better shots than the haters. Our minds are calmer and our focus is keener. HeHe ?

  11. Ironic indeed, Mr. Lansing. And the more guns on the street and in the hands of good shots with calm minds and keen focus the better, regardless of the level of libbyism.

  12. Porter Lansing

    Cory’s right, as usual. We don’t need to focus or worry about the working class. The working class won their election and the working class elected their champion. Let him worry about the working class. We’ll focus our concern on our team and after four years we’ll see which side did better. The white working class is now Trump’s problem. They don’t appreciate all we did for them, anyway.

  13. Who are “we”, Mr. Lansing? Your goat is here with me so you must have a little toad in your pocket.

  14. Porter Lansing

    We are the liberals, Princess. It wasn’t we liberals who sent white working class jobs to Mexico. It was conservative business owners. It wasn’t liberals who broke up your unions, stole your job security and kept your wages down. It was conservative business owners. It wasn’t liberals who looked the other way while the rich got super-rich on 99% of the new wealth and the white working class got screwed. Liberals couldn’t be farther away from responsibility for the demise of the white working class. It was conservative selfishness that put you where you are and you’re not we liberals problem any more. We liberals aren’t around Washington to blame, now. It’s time the white working class got a mouthful of who’s really their masters. Take a long look at Trump’s cabinet and ask yourself, “Who among you is highly concerned about the white working class?” None of them are.

  15. Well, at least the unions mostly got busted up, and the ones that haven’t yet are dying fast. Unions are bad, they are bad.

    It’s time for people who want to do better to step up and work harder. It doesn’t matter what your race, age, sex or sexuality is. Work harder, people, or stop whining. I will tell you that Mr. Lansing’s goat works much harder when he is properly motivated.

  16. Porter Lansing

    That’s exactly what the white working class needs. Conservatives like Grudz telling them to work harder ’cause their problems are their own damn fault. We libbies will take care of our own and you conservatives can save the white workers. You see. Living like a conservative isn’t so hard. We liberals just have to be totally selfish and let you white working class folks depend on your Republican Party’s economic plan for the next four years. We’ll add up the score, later. Good luck ?

  17. Good luck, Mr. Lansing. See you in four years. Don’t smoke too much!

  18. Porter Lansing

    I can selfishly take care of myself without your advice. You do the same.

  19. I actually have care-givers, Mr. Lansing, although I am oft accused of not heeding their advice. But they don’t have to tell me to not smoke the demon weed.

  20. mike from iowa

    Marlboro Barbie has got a surprise in store to rilly rev up the economy. Grudz will like this one. I suppose to a wingnut it would make perfect sense. Wait for it……

  21. Donald Pay


    I am actually a pacifist, so I’m not one to take up arms. I’m just bringing the discussion up, because if Hillary wins the electoral college vote, however miniscule that chance is now, we will be hearing all about 2nd Amendment solutions. The fact that the Russians stole our democracy away from us, well, that apparently isn’t enough for those 2nd amendment pussies to get out their weapons.

    But, the personal violence being more and more committed and threatened by the Fuehrer’s storm troopers against groups they are targeting has me contemplating whether picking up a gun isn’t something to be considered, especially if government fails to act against the Fuehrer’s minions. We’ll see whether the rule of law or the rule of the Fuehrer’s mob wins out in the next few months.

    Being threatened is not fun. At one time, during the nuclear waste and sewage ash fights, I and my ex-wife had some threats leveled against us. I do my best fighting with my mouth and my pen, but it did make me think whether a weapon would equalize things. The threat to kill me was made in a moment of anger, and I didn’t think it was worth reporting. The man who made it ended up having his integrity questioned in the papers because of other actions he had done.

    The threats against my ex-wife were more scary, because at that point the sewage ash scam had just been unmasked, and the perps were coming unglued. We just called the police and let them handle it. We were pretty scared for a week or so, and much more watchful about who was in the neighborhood. But what happens when those who are threatened or beat up or bullied don’t feel they have the law to turn to? Yeah, in that case I might be tempted to buy a gun and learn how to use it.

  22. Porter Lansing

    I’ve told you this many times already, Grudzie but your long term memory’s a little dull, anymore. I don’t use cannabis but if I wanted to nobody gives a damn. Only 14% of CO citizens smoke pot. The rest of us just enjoy the taxes on the sales, which topped a billion dollars, just this year. ???

  23. Donald, I understand your fear. However, if we reach the point where we have to the Second Amendment, we may already have lost everything worth fighting for. We must remain committed to standing our ground with the First Amendment.

  24. mike from iowa

    Drumpf hizownself brought up the 2nd amendment as a possible solution to HRC winning the election.