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Scare Tactics Back Ongoing Legislative Bullying of Transgender Students

Apparently Concerned Women for America placed the following propaganda on Senate desks today:

Concerned Women for America flyer, distributed at South Dakota Senate, 2015.03.11.
Concerned Women for America flyer, distributed at South Dakota Senate, 2015.03.11.

Senate Bill 140 is the hoghouse vehicle that Rep. Jim Bolin (R-16/Canton) used yesterday to keep alive his proposal to repeal the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s transgender student participation policy. His original proposal, HB 1195, died yesterday when the Senate refused on a 16–19 vote to place the smoked-out bill on its calendar for debate. The determined Rep. Bolin then hoghoused the language of HB 1195 into SB 140 and got his fellow House members to approve that move 45–23.

That’s six fewer ayes than Rep. Bolin got for HB 1195 when it moved through the House on February 10. One month later, Rep. Bolin’s SB 140 hoghouse picked up three votes from Republicans who were absent for the February 10 vote (Al Novstrup, Jim Schaefer, and Mike Verchio). But the resurrection of the transgender issue drove eight Republicans who had voted yes a month ago to go nay this time (Kristin Conzet, Justin Cronin, Dan Dryden, Jean Hunhoff, Alex Jensen, Tim Johns, Fred Romkema, Jacqueline Sly, and Dick Werner).

Bolin’s hoghouse kicked the amendedly unrecognizable SB 140 back to the Senate, which again rebuffed this effort to bully SDHSAA and transgender student-athletes. Libby Skarin reports the vote today was 16–18. The Senate rejection triggers a conference committee, to which the Senate appointed Senators Jim White, Troy Heinert, and (no, wait, seriously? this guy?) Phil Jensen.

The CWA borrowed its ad from the LGBT-phobic Minnesota Child Protection League, which used that same image and similar fear tactics in its unsuccessful campaign against Minnesota’s transgender student-athlete policy last fall. CWA’s bathroom panic is unfounded: there is no evidence that transgender-inclusive policies in public accommodations in multiple states have led to any increase in sexual assaults or come-hither looks or whatever it is that so terrifies CWA’s Cindy Flakoll, Rep. Bolin, Senator Bob Ewing, Senator Brock Greenfield, and others in the Legislature’s conservative rump. Besides, students pretty much quit showering at school twenty years ago. The scenario in the CWA flyer just won’t happen.

Advocates of this discrimination continue their political cross-dressing, saying the effort to repeal the SDHSAA transgender-participation policy is about the sanctity of birth certificates, the authority of the state over the activities association, and, most Orwellianly, the protection of children. Don’t fall for it. This persistent effort to undo the SDHSAA’s positive (and so far, complaint-free) policy is the shameful grown-up manifestation of the bullying transgender kids face from their peers…

…or maybe not. Senator Bernie Hunhoff observed in floor debate today that today’s teens are more understanding than most legislators’ generation. Take a memo, grown-ups: SB 140 is making a fuss where none is needed.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-11 17:49

    Yes, one of those flyers appeared as a full page add in the Strib. A girl in uniform was seated in the softball dugout, head hanging dejectedly, with a heading about a trans student taking her place on the team.

    In all the years I’ve coached basketball, track, and softball, no one “owned” a place on the team. The spots had to be “earned.”

    Apparently SD’s parents ought to be more concerned about girls on boys’ teams. I believe girls have played football and wrestled on high school teams. In fact, wasn’t a girl a pretty successful wrestler this year? (Lynn know more about her.)

    Soon girls will be taking over football teams! Oh the horror! Scary, scary, scary!

  2. jerry 2015-03-11 18:03

    There is a young lady that tosses a mean knuckle ball right now in high school baseball. She may well be going to college on a ride, she is actually that good of a knuckle baller, possibly even the majors. I think that this young lady is mature enough to be able to stay on focus to figure a way to get that shower in without being intimidated. The writer of the note should be asked why they do not come out of the closet. Here she is

  3. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-11 18:07

    What is it with the SDGOP’s “War On Kids”?
    First they don’t want to fund education and they educators.
    Second they want discriminate against them on the minimum wage.
    And now this, bullying a select group of kids trying to find their way in life. Don’t they already face enough obstacles with out a bunch of old white guys making it more difficult for them?

  4. Gracie 2015-03-11 18:28

    Never mind the ethics of the flyer on the legislator’s desks, is that legal? I am curious.
    And if it is legal, I sure wish we had a state ethics commission to rule on it.

  5. mike from iowa 2015-03-11 19:13

    Would you be alright with replacing the teenage male with a person of the cloth showering with any or all of your children?

  6. Curt 2015-03-11 21:19

    Is this a classic case of a solution in search of a problem?

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-11 22:05

    Gracie, folks drop all sorts of stuff on legislators’ desks. I don’t think there’s any legal or ethical restriction on such lobbying. They just can’t step onto the floor while the Senate is meeting.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-11 22:06

    Remember, Mike, almost none of these kids are using the showers anyway.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-11 22:07

    Curt, yes. Senator White said the SDHSAA has reported zero complaints from schools on this policy.

  10. Nick Nemec 2015-03-11 22:17

    I’ll have to ask my now twenty something daughters but I don’t think they showered after sports practice or games. They came home and showered here, we had all the necessary products so it was easier than packing all the soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair dryers and assorted curling irons to school everyday.

  11. grudznick 2015-03-11 22:17

    People who leave papers like that in the legislatures bathrooms and bulletin boards need to be called out and verbally beaten about the head and shoulders by fellows like our friend Mr. H and Senator Flakoll.

  12. Donald Pay 2015-03-11 22:51

    When I was lobbying, it wasn’t considered good practice to leaflet legislators desks. I’m not sure it was against the rules, but if you wanted to be taken seriously, you didn’t do that.

    You could be on the floor during recess to snag a legislator to two, and you could leave a note or information on a desk or two, but leafletting everyone’s desk was not done by lobbyists. Back then you used the mailroom or the lobbying assistant, if you wanted a broad distribution of talking points, etc.

    Regarding showering together, you know, that could lead to dancing, and that’s where all good Christians have to draw the line.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-12 06:33

    Good point about the lobbying, Donald. Face-to-face contact works better than junk mail, right?

    (And Grudz, now you’re just funnin’ me with your mistaken labeling of CWA’s Flakoll as a Senator, right?)

  14. Donald Pay 2015-03-12 07:52

    Face-to-face is best. I’m not sure how to lobby on these issues, though, in this Legislature. When I was lobbying the party split was much more even. Ever issue, every bill is different. Generally, this late in the session, you know who is and who isn’t persuadable on the issue. Don’t waste time and paper on people who aren’t going to move.

  15. Kathy Tyler 2015-03-12 08:19

    Nothing that pertains to a bill can be put on legislators’ desks without approval from the Sergeant at Arms, and it needs to have a legislator’s signature–permission–on it. This flyer should never have been on the desks.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-12 08:25

    Really! That’s interesting, Kathy. Is that rule in the House Rules? Joint rules? Statute?

  17. mike from iowa 2015-03-12 08:44

    Cory,if none of the kids are using the showers then either-A) men of the cloth would have no business in the showers,or B) they could molest each other.

  18. mike from iowa 2015-03-12 08:46

    Works for me. :)

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-12 09:19

    Utah and the Mormon Church outdo South Dakota on LGBT acceptance. The Utah Legislature just approved adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the protected classes in employment and housing discrimination:

    Alas, the Utah high school activities association discussed a transgender policy last year but has not implemented any policy:!k-12/c4w2

    And alas, Republican legislators in Minnesota are trying to repeal their HS transgender participation policy as well:

  20. mike from iowa 2015-03-12 09:35

    Puerto Rico schools instituted a policy from early on to teach kids about gender. The bill was written in Spanish so I didn’t copy and paste. Something South Dakota should implement so they quit confusing sex and gender.

  21. larry kurtz 2015-03-12 09:57

    i’m sorry but we’re missing the bigger discussion about biochemical influences of exposure to environmental contaminants. Marty Jackley is turning the other way because he’s a tool of the chemical industry.

    Plastics Derived Endocrine Disruptors (BPA, DEHP and DBP) Induce Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Obesity, Reproductive Disease and Sperm Epimutations

  22. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-12 17:14

    The anti-aĺl Minnesotans in the MN legislature will fail because they are a minority. They’re trying because they are shameless.

    Imagine. Utah worked so hard and put so much Mormon money into defeating Marriage for All in CA, but now they’ve had their “Come to Jesus” moment realizing that if Mormons are people too, so are LBTG folks.

  23. bearcreekbat 2015-03-13 17:49

    Cory, here is a little SD history on girls wrestling boys. In the late 1970’s a young girl from Nemo was busting the chops of her classmates in wrestling. A local pastor complained and the young girl was told she could not wrestle boys. At that time there were literally no SD high school sports for girls. Anyway, this girl filed suit to seek an injunction that would allow her to participate and wrestle the boys. Judge Scott Moses denied the motion for an injunction and the girl appealed. While her case was pending, one of the girls lawyers from Black Hills Legal Services, Mary Ellen McEldowney, negotiated a settlement that created the first sports programs for girls in South Dakota, which was, if I recollect correctly, high school competitive volleyball. Although this girl was denied the opportunity to continue wrestling, the settlement broke the lock on school sports for boys only that was the situation in SD before her lawsuit. This was the foundation for the development of future high school sports programs for SD girls.

    Don Pay, your comment reminded me of a story my grandfather used to tell. It seems a young couple was caught by the Baptist minister in a compromising sexual position. Once the minister contacted the respective families to investigate the situation, he was satisified to learn that the kids were only having sex rather than dancing.

  24. bearcreekbat 2015-03-13 17:58

    larry, Marty Jackley is pretty busy these days trying to convince the SCOTUS to deny the promised subsidy to all South Dakotans who bought insurance through the federal exchange. Since SD refused to create a state exchange Marty’s people are contending that SD residents should not get the federal subsidies others will get to help pay the cost of their health insurance. Marty joined the Burwell lawsuit on behalf of ?

  25. bearcreekbat 2015-03-13 18:23

    larry, thanks for the link. But it doesn’t describe whether Marty actually got any contributions from these groups to his essentially unopposed election? Perhaps the payoff will come later?

    But again, this begs the question – which SD citizens who bought insurance on the federal exchange is Marty trying to help?

  26. bearcreekbat 2015-03-13 18:40

    larry, I cannot find any meaningful info from your link regarding my question about who is Marty serving with his decision to join the lawsuit? Sorry . . .

  27. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-13 21:40

    BCB, I’ll quibble just a bit with your comment regarding the instigator of girls sports in SD.

    While the girl you spoke of was without question very important, in addition to very brave, Title IX put it all over the top. Title IX withholds federal money from any school that doesn’t provide equally for girls and boys.

  28. bearcreekbat 2015-03-14 03:51

    Deb, you are correct about Title IX, but recall that we are talking about South Dakota. And when I wrote “Nemo” I was incorrect. I believe the town was Newell rather than Nemo.

    Anyway, if I recall correctly, the legal basis Mary Ellen relied upon for the injunction was premised on Title IX and the settlement was likely induced by Title IX requirements,

  29. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-14 15:30

    We are in agreement then BCB, thanks.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-14 15:51

    Interesting history, BCB! Any idea where that lady wrestler went after high school?

    I am curious about time frame: Congress passed Title IX in 1972; the regulations were finalized for implementation in 1975. SDHSAA crowned its first girls’ volleyball champs (SF Washington) in 1982. SDHSAA named its first individual girls’ golf state champions in 1969 and its first team girls’ golf champs in 1973.

  31. bearcreekbat 2015-03-15 11:49

    Cory, I don’t know what she did after graduation. If I remember correctly, the Newell school district agreed to implement a girls volleyball program, which would be consistent with the timing of the SDHAA 1982 championship. I was unawarethat there was a SDHAA girls golf program in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but I do not think Newell participated in it.

  32. leslie 2015-03-15 14:14

    bcb, larry-curious if jackley is a part of GOP majority states attys genl association (now led by Oklahoman E. Scott Pruitt Esq.) that has been positioning itself in SCOTUS and other heavy appellate litigation against the Obama Administration?

    In 2010 alone 50 such major lawsuits were pending against the govt.

    At some point the GOP will be successful in “lead-booting” the federal goverment’s both “feet”, bring the enforcement ability of the feds to a halt.

    The gutted voting rights act, the energy company coalition w/ the attys genl assn, and on and on. Big money is aiming to take down the government as GOP’s main adversary.

    Citizen’s United has vast reach; as the only check on GOP power is the middle class vote which is being eroded at so many turns.

  33. leslie 2015-03-15 14:41

    here, in a deep red state, we perceive the elected AG to operate in lock-step with Rounds, and then Daugaard’s interests (like hiding EB5 machinations before their three 2014 elections). Maybe montana is more purple with a dem. governor, lots of hollywood land ownership and liberal immigrating youth interested in mountain culture, protection of wolves, bison, ect. it reflects the nation where big money GOP has to undermine the large institutions like the feds, or montana state government to wrest power back to the 1%’s control.

    trouble is a’ brewin in this country, politically. big time. can dems withstand the onslaught and come up with a creative response (rather than a financial arms race)?

    that is the difference in the two parties. republicans do not recognize ethics and welfare of the public. dems are the softer, gentler approach. and we have been stomped into the ground by the bullies in pierre as a result. this will not last.

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