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Senate Education Protects SDHSAA Transgender Policy from Political Cross-Dressers

Want to see Roger Hunt in heels and make-up?

Decency prevailed in one corner of the Legislature this week, as the Senate Education Committee killed both of the bills targeting transgender high school students. On Tuesday, Senate Education killed House Bill 1195, which would have eliminated the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s new transgender policy, a good policy that reinforces our commitment to letting all students participate in extracurricular sports, regardless of their gender identity. HB 1195 also established birth certificate designation as the final word on gender identity, in complete disregard of our growing knowledge of the complexity of gender.

The vote was close, 4–3, but Republican Senators Alan Solano and Deb Soholt (hmmm… where else have those two names popped up in intriguing Legislative action this week?) joined Democratic Senators Bernie Hunhoff and Jason Frerichs in successfully deferring HB 1195 to the 41st day.

Senate Education resisted another round of anti-trans discrimination Thursday when it killed House Bill 1161, which simply would have forbidden the SDHSAA from making any transgender policy. This time we got one more vote for decency, as Senator R. Blake Curd abandoned his fellow trans-nervous Republicans Bruce Rampelberg and Brock Greenfield and sided with the bill-killers.

Those testifying for HB 1161 trotted out a legalistic argument that I heard coming to the fore as opposition to these discriminatory bills rose. Rep. Roger Hunt said HB 1161 is all about respecting birth certificates and the rule of law:

Rep. Roger Hunt, R-25/Brandon
Rep. Roger Hunt, R-25/Brandon

Representative Roger Hunt says the SDHSAA does not have the right to dispute information on birth certificates.”They really have no authority to take a document that we use when we get passports, when we get driver’s license, and fail to recognize part of it. Where is the authority to do that? Again they’re exercising the sovereign authority that we as a legislative body should be exercising,” says Hunt [Jackelyn Severin, “Committee Kills Transgender Policy Measure,” SDPB Radio, 2015.03.05].

This argument is Roger Hunt in philosophical drag. He can’t just admit that his prejudices and insecurities require him to pick on kids who are struggling with weighty gender identity issues. So he dresses up his bigotry in “sovereign authority” and the sanctity of government documents.

So Roger, just to make sure: the next time you hear your Republican colleagues and family-values friends nodding in agreement with birthers, you’ll point out that we have no sovereign authority to question Barack Hussein Obama’s birth certificate, right?

Transgender kids are not a problem. Legislators disguising their bigotry in absurd legalisms are.


  1. Bill Dithmer 2015-03-06

    ” Want to see Roger Hunt in heels and make-up?”

    Thats a hell of a picture for this early in the morning.

    I’m not complaining mind you, but it seems like DFP is trying to use Mr. Hunt to create a “worse case scenario,” visual imige. Thats right, Roger would be South Dakotas very own J Edgar Hoover.

    ” An act that is regarded as emphasizing the sensuous or sensational aspects of a nonsexual subject and stimulating a compulsive interest in their audience.”

    According to Wiki, thats porn.

    The Blindman

  2. mike from iowa 2015-03-06

    So Hunt thinks wingnuts are a sovereign body? They are wholly owned by korporate amerika. Sovereign they are not. They also appear to be practicing medicine without a license some more. I’ll bet that is illegal as heck.

  3. mike from iowa 2015-03-06

    Wingnuts have no artistic or literary value,taken as a whole-so they have that going for them as porn,Blindman.

  4. Bill Fleming 2015-03-06

    There is a certain irony here that can perhaps best be resolved by clarifying the semantic distinction between the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ and our tendency to use the words interchangeably.

    Problem is, lots of folks who think like Mr. Hunt don’t like using the word ‘sex’ and so, prefer to use ‘gender’ as a euphemism. And that right there is the root of the whole problem. Birth certificates don’t specify ‘gender,’ they specify ‘sex,’ and in some cases where that ‘sex’ can’t be clearly determined, the person filling out the form just writes down their best guess.

    I can’t imagine any of this being left up to legislators who oftentimes don’t even understand their own language, let alone the nature of their constituents’ personal and social issues.

  5. larry kurtz 2015-03-06

    South Dakota deserves the Roger Hunts, the Mike Verchios and the Betty Olsons in the legislature: it’s just that simple.

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-06

    In a very closely related issue, major businesses have written a brief for SCOTUS in support of no discrimination based on sexual identity. Here is the money quote:

    “Allowing same-sex couples to marry improves employee morale and productivity, reduces uncertainty, and removes the wasteful administrative burdens imposed by the current disparity of state law treatment,” the brief says.

    This is the very long URL for the entire article:

  7. mike from iowa 2015-03-06

    I fixed it for you,Deb. Your URL was 470 characters. Free advice-download Tiny for free and rid the world of overly long URLs. mfi and epo recommends it and I am not a paid spokesperson.

  8. mike from iowa 2015-03-06

    btw-thanks for the article as well. I heard 300 wingnuts were asking the Scotus to approve Gay Marriage.

  9. Curtis Price 2015-03-06

    Seems like EqSD’s sitting back and letting the excellent “useful idiots” with their nefarious reasonable arguments, plus the powerful testimony early in the process, carried the day.

    It is true and ugly that various groups need to work “under the radar” in Pierre so as not bring up drama and shouting based on nothing at all – except labels. I can’t imagine how Planned Parenthood feels, lobbying for the ability to provide basic women’s health care in this state.

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-06

    Thank you. I’ll do that, mfi/epo. I trust tinyurl will tell me how it works or just do it’s thing without my input.

  11. mike from iowa 2015-03-07

    Rilly easy<Deb. Copy the long URL,click Tiny URLand a box shows up with a space for the copied url,then click make tiny URL and the shorter one appears like magic right below the box. Copy and paste and your done. :)

  12. Roger Elgersma 2015-03-07

    So this means that if your teenager is involved in PE class or sports, that they will be seeing body parts of the opposite sex in the showers and locker rooms in high school. If you try to teach your kids moral values and expose them to the opposite sex bodies no matter what that person thinks their body is, is not going to reduce teen pregnancies.
    LGBT have no consideration of other peoples values.

  13. bearcreekbat 2015-03-08

    Calm down Roger E.

    First, not all LGBT people are the same, so stereotypes about them and their behavior will only hurt your ability to think clearly and recognize each person’s individuality. Many, if not most, LGBT people constantly consider and respect other people’s values, including the values of straight folks, just as many, if not most, straight folks consider and respect the values of others, including LGBT folks.

    Second, I didn’t understand the SDHSAA policies to require or even permit transgender teenagers to share the showers, toilets or dressing rooms of other teenagers. Can you provide any information from the policy that is contrary to my understanding?

  14. mike from iowa 2015-03-08

    Roger E-do you really believe exposure alone causes pregnancy?

  15. Bill Fleming 2015-03-08

    Roger E. LGBT’s share the same showers with those they are inclined to have sex with now. If you were showering with a gay person at the gym, how would you even know, unless he told you? Your argument doesn’t make any sense. Reread it and you’ll understand why. You might also learn something about yourself. :-)

  16. Shaprshtik 2015-03-10

    The LGBT lobby’s transgender policy adopted by SDHSAA (among others) intentionally discriminates against every girl in the state by selectively ignoring the gender of boys who declare an abnormal mental state (i.e. declare they want to be a girl) to get into girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and sports. The Supreme Court correctly rejects intentional discrimination (e.g. affirmative action) as a solution to actual discrimination. Obviously then, intentional discrimination cannot possibly be a remedy to soothe a mere alleged state of mind. Athletics, bath and locker rooms are not psychiatry. LGBT students already have equal access. It is fair to put boys in boys sports, bath and locker rooms. It is unfair and potentially dangerous to force girls to compete against 15-18 year-old boys. Government can do nothing for boys with physical defects who want to compete in sports. A boy with a mere abnormal mental state and full physical capability should not be exalted above everyone else and given an athletic advantage by intentionally discriminating against girls. The alleged discomfort of a boy (sad as it may be) must remain that boy’s burden, not turned into every girl’s discomfort and burden.

    In athletics and life generally, a person becomes better by overcoming mental or physical difficulties (as opposed to demanding a particular outcome). Take, for instance, Anthony Robles. He turned his massive physical disability (born with one leg) into an advantage by being much stronger than his opponents and by using a unique style in wrestling. He left college an NCAA champion. Anthony didn’t lobby or threaten government to hand him an advantage and discriminate against everyone else based on completely dishonest statements about level playing field, equal opportunity, fairness, etc. What you want is not the same as your “right,” especially when what you want intentionally discriminates against others who meet gender qualifications.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-10

    Get real, ShaprShtik. The SDHSAA transgender policy is not about sniggering boys playing a trick so they can peep on the girls in the locker room. Read the policy: the student has to give notice to the school and provide documentation from other people attesting to his or her gender identity. That documentation has to include information about accommodations the school has already made for the student’s gender identity, plus certification from a health care professional of the student’s declared and practiced gender. An SDHSAA committee then reviews the student’s application. All those stipulations guarantee that juvenile “I’m a girl, hee hee, let’s see some boobies” scenario you describe can’t be carried on some homecoming-week lark.

    Besides, the brief thrill the boy would get from his first trip to the locker room would be overwhelmed by the ongoing stigma and harassment he’d apparently face from you and legislators like Sen. Brock Greenfield and Rep. Brian Gosch. Instead of going through all that trouble, why not just drill a hole in the wall of the shower room?

    This policy exalts no one. It lifts students from oppression to equal treatment. That may feel like exaltation to the oppressed student, who has enough trouble to deal with growing up among small, vindictive minds like yours, and who just wants to play basketball. What are you so afraid of?

  18. mike from iowa 2015-03-10

    Mr Shaprshtik-am I understanding you correctly in thinking all wrestlers will cut off a leg so they can honeyfuggle with a one-legged rasslin’ champ?

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