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Deutsch Potty Bill Making South Dakota Leader in Transgender Bullying

Human Rights Watch says South Dakota is leading a nationwide surge of irrational anti-transgender legislation with House Bill 1008, Rep. Fred Deutsch’s (R-5/Watertown) paranoid potty bill. Ryan Thoreson writes the bullies behind HB 1008 are ignoring sensible solutions and putting South Dakota youth at greater risk of bullying and harassment:

These bills single out transgender students for discriminatory treatment, and pose serious risks to their dignity, privacy, health, and safety. Recognizing these concerns, lawmakers in Washington and Virginia took a stand this week and rejected such proposals.

Supporters of the South Dakota measure – largely out-of-state lobbying groups that oppose LGBT rights – cite student privacy as the main reason for the ban. But at the hearing, they failed to explain why stalls or privacy curtains are insufficient measures. Nor did supporters explain why singling out transgender youth and sending them to separate facilities – or potentially exposing them to bullying and harassment in facilities that match their sex assigned at birth – does anything to improve student privacy or safety.

In the coming weeks, South Dakota will have the opportunity to set an example for the rest of the country. It can become the first state to allow fearmongering to dictate its policy or it can demonstrate that inclusion and common sense can prevail [Ryan Thoreson, “South Dakota Nears Dangerous Precedent,” Human Rights Watch, 2016.02.12].

Senator Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton) understands the dangerous precedent very well:

Sen. Bernie Hunhoff, Facebook post, 2016.02.12.
Sen. Bernie Hunhoff, Facebook post, 2016.02.12.

Rep. Fred Deutsch and fellow insecure religionists are dragging South Dakota toward lawsuits and laughingstockery. When the South Dakota Senate takes up HB 1008 (it’s on Tuesday’s calendar), we may have our last chance to spare ourselves that shame and our transgender kids this state-sanctioned bullying.


  1. Spencer 2016-02-13 11:34

    I suppose if we repeat the bullying and lawsuit lines enough they become true. Reality would suggest that those schools that allow transgendered individuals to arbitrarily pick which bathrooms they identify with will be generating lawsuits from the large non-transgendered majority. Reality would also suggest that transgendered individuals face increased bullying in such cases. It is interesting that many of the same arguments being made against this bill more aptly apply to those who oppose it.

  2. larry kurtz 2016-02-13 11:43

    What happened to the good Republicans?

    This bill stigmatizes yet another segment of South Dakota’s population deemed undesirable by the white, christianic ruling class.

    The specter of Janklow operatives sabotaging Governor George Mickelson’s plane still haunts me. Mickelson was South Dakota’s last good Republican.

    But, laud Deutsch and his nutball sidekicks for burning up the clock with this tripe avoiding accountability for the culture of corruption in Pierre, Bendagate and the Westerhuis murders.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 12:00

    If Deutsch and other republican bullies in Pierre are so concerned about sexual deviants in South Dakota they would appropriate more money and resources to testing those 7,500 rape test kits sitting on shelf gathering dust.

    The longer the rape tests are not tested there is a likelihood that the statutes of limitations will run out, or maybe this is what republicans want.

  4. mike from iowa 2016-02-13 12:16

    More stem cell research is needed and maybe,just maybe,you can cure stoopid in wingnuts.

  5. Roger Elgersma 2016-02-13 14:17

    Roger C. you are right about the rape kits needing to be tested. Some laws seem stupid but then it is because it was stupid that the problem ever existed. When a rape kit is not tested, I highly suspect corruption. Now Jackley wants us to just think that we are just a few months behind by saying that the average kit is tested a couple months late. No criminal investigation would wait two months to test the results. This is a situation where some are tested immediately and other not for ten years or more so the DNA deteriorates but they use averages to make it look like they just got a little behind.
    Do we really need a law to make the police do their job or should we just hire honest cops?

  6. owen reitzel 2016-02-13 15:23

    Went to the District 19 Cracker Barrel in Corsica today and actually heard someone in the audience say that being transgender is a choice. incredible.

    Also heard Sen. Van Gerpen say that the more kids here this transgender talk the more they become confused. No kidding

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-13 16:16

    Mike from Iowa, the Media Matters graphic in your link is important: states that have allowed trans folks to pick their potty report no problems with sexual assaults. What’s the problem here, Rep. Deutsch?

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-13 16:18

    No, Spencer, stop blaming the victims. That is unacceptable rhetoric from a teacher charged with protecting students. The trans kids are not to blame for the bullying; the bullies are. If a trans neighbor pees next to me, I have no business harassing that trans person. We both just need to pee. Why don’t we all just mind our own business and pee?

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-13 16:24

    On rape kits, Roger C: Dems offer HB 1132 and right-wingers offer SB 130 to require clearing that backlog and testing all rape kits within ninety days. The Dems’ bill is, predictably, more detailed. Neither bill appears to include additional funding.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 16:33

    Sorry to change the subject, but Antonin Scalia died in Texas today.

    President Obama will have his court.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-13 17:11

    Holy cow. Roger, that grim news may actually be relevant to the discussion of the Deutsch potty bill, as well as HB 1107, the fake religious freedom bill. Both bills will draw litigation, and facing a Supreme Court triple-stamped by President Obama, those bills will fail judicial scrutiny. The gamble for Deutsch, ADF, Family Heritage Alliance, and friends to take these bullying, discriminatory bills to court just went sour.

  12. Jenny 2016-02-13 17:23

    Well we all know how the SD GOP loves their federal money. So maybe the possibility of losing federal funding will stop this hate vote.

  13. mike from iowa 2016-02-13 17:37

    Roger C-if you think it is hard for Obama to get anything done now,wait until he tries to nominate and get confirmed another Justice. There is absolutely no way wingnuts will vote to confirm anyone Obama or Clinton nominates.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-13 18:06

    You’re right on that mfi, the first salvo has been fired by Mitch O’Connell saying he won’t place a nomination or hearings on the senate calendar until 2016. If there is ever the time for President Obama to show his political savvy, it is now.
    Almost all the points Cory mentions above about the LGBT fight are being talked about in the national media.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-13 18:26

    Jenny, wow! KELO-TV’s Leland Steva almost put together an intelligent post. He doesn’t explain or even link to the Illinois story, but he at least gives us the numbers.

    And my, what numbers! If the argument holds, if the Department of Education said buts to you, South Dakota, for violating transgender students’ rights, we’d be out $194 million, more than double the money the Governor says we need to make South Dakota’s teacher pay competitive. (But we also need to figure out—and Steva and KELO do not and instead just seem to reprocess without credit the federal-state-local statistics I reported Wednesday—how much of that is Title IX money.) Is Alliance Defending Freedom also going to compensate schools for those losses?

    We aren’t going to win the moral argument with Deutsch, Craig, DiSanto, Stalzer, and Omdahl. We have to win the straight fiscal argument with the Daugaard wing of the GOP. Explain to them the budget hole HB 1008 will blast in our K-12 funding.

    But first, read an article about the Illinois controversy in question:

    It says the courts are not as sanguine about transgender rights as we liberals and the ACLU may hope. Courts have ruled against trans kids in cases like HB 1008 would bring up, but major cases are on appeal.

  16. Happy Camper 2016-02-14 10:02

    In South Dakota sometimes you just have to look away cause it’s too painful to watch what they do. Obviously being transgender is NOT a choice. Who would choose that path? As is said over and over people who are intolerant are actually uncomfortable with themselves. Everyone is a gender bender to some degree. People who insist on rigid definitions and little boxes are the freakiest closest cases has been my experience and observations.

  17. larry kurtz 2016-02-14 10:20

    Legislators should be clamoring to find money to study the causes of gender dysphoria like phthalates and industrial ag chemicals but lobbyists would rather pay to blame victims of mass poisoning instead.

  18. larry kurtz 2016-02-14 10:25

    Even Pot Pat Powers went to bat to find money for autism research instead of blaming kids for their conditions.

  19. Happy Camper 2016-02-14 11:01

    Stop with little boxes and stupid labels: That’s the problem. Gender differences are long standing. Hermaphrodites for example have long been described in history. By the bell curve many things are not “normal” but it is normal to have variance. Like homosexuality gender dysphoria should not be considered an illness. From Wikepedia: Gender Identify Disorder is classified as a medical disorder by the ICD-10 CM and DSM-5 (called gender dysphoria). Many transgender people and researchers support declassification of GID because they say the diagnosis pathologizes gender variance, reinforces the binary model of gender, and can result in stigmatization of transgender individuals. The official classification of gender dysphoria as a disorder in the DSM-5 may help resolve some of these issues, because the term gender dysphoria applies only to the discontent experienced by some persons resulting from gender identity issues.

  20. Lynn 2016-02-14 11:42

    Great snow conditions to go cross country skiing today in South Dakota to clear one’s mind from all of this.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14 11:49

    …or at least spend a couple hours outside shoveling before getting back to petitioning, e-mailing, Facebooking, and calling to get South Dakotans to elect Democrats who will stop the GOP’s bullying.

  22. grudznick 2016-02-14 12:00

    So Lar, you’re saying it’s a “problem” with a cause like brain poisoning from ag chemicals? I think that unlikely.

  23. Happy Camper 2016-02-14 12:45

    If it’s a predisposition caused during prenatal development, that’s another matter. They’re here and they’re an at-risk population. We obviously ain’t doin somethin right: “A whopping 41% of people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming have attempted suicide sometime in their lives, nearly nine times the national average, according to a sweeping survey released three years ago.”

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