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Hickey: Transgender Potty War Less Important Than Stopping Payday Lenders

Former Representative, still Reverend Steve Hickey weighs in with what sounds like a call for legislators to get their priorities straight. Rev. Hickey looks at the continuing spate of paranoid anti-transgender bills in the South Dakota Legislature and suggests we don’t have much to fear from transgender people sharing whichever bathroom with us:

As the father of a daughter it has been a compelling concern that my daughter’s right to privacy in a bathroom be a consideration. But then I remember she grew up with two brothers and knows how to lock a door. From what I’m told, women’s restrooms today have individual stalls with locking doors. Also I’m aware that transgendered people generally despise and hide their birth genitalia and therefore aren’t the people we need to worry about forcing their genitalia on others. While traveling recently the airport cleaning lady mopped around a few of us lined up at the urinal and it dawned on me we can relax a bit about cross-gender bathroom use. My wife and I taught our kids to treat everyone the same and look past race and disability. We taught them to befriend people who were on the margins; fat, awkward, tom boys or tom girls [Rev. Steve Hickey, “Empathy, Accommodation for Transgendered,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.02.15].

Hickey breaks out the Bible and finds no solid ground for anti-trans bills like HB 1008:

The only passage in the Bible that speaks of crossdressing is Deuteronomy 22:5 and it is generally considered by Biblical scholars as a prohibition forbidding the Israelites from participating in Canaanite religious rituals of swapping sex roles and temple prostitution. It is a stretch to suggest the verse is God’s view on gender dysphoria. Appealing to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 about effeminate men ignores that gender dysphoria was not an issue in the context of the letter [Hickey, 2016.02.15].

Hickey takes a line that sounds like my own Senate campaign tack: we have bigger fish to fry than mote-plank culture-war conflicts.

So, WWJD? He’d probably have some scandalous friendships today with transgendered people and say things to the rest of us like; What makes you think someone else’s brokenness is a bigger deal to God than your own? Then maybe he’d join my gay friend Steve Hildebrand and myself in challenging the financial sins of the loan sharks like Chuck Brennan and Rod Aycox [Hickey, 2016.02.15].

Payday lenders, insufficient teacher pay, corruption robbing the taxpayers… we’ve got lots of sins to tackle. Telling transgender kids where to pee isn’t one of them.


  1. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-16 14:35

    As I have followed the discussion and legislation on gender dysphoria, it occurred to me that many of us have already shared a toilet with a transgender person and never even knew it. The same is probably true of school age children.
    The South Dakota legislature is out of control, there are no leaders there. For a bunch of republicans that say they want to keep government out of our lives and to keep it small, they are doing just the opposite.

  2. Joseph Nelson 2016-02-16 14:43

    Wait, are we not saying or typing “Argus Leader” anymore? I must have missed that blog post….

  3. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-16 15:43

    “Hickey takes a line that sounds like my own Senate campaign tack: we have bigger fish to fry than mote-plank culture-war conflicts.”

    And frying those bigger fish probably won’t cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in lawsuits to defend and lose when it goes to the Supreme Court.

  4. mike from iowa 2016-02-16 15:55

    Wingnuts have prolly been paid to ignore the rate cap bill. Any other issue where they can get religion involved is what they will concentrate on. Just guessing.

  5. Jenny 2016-02-16 16:21

    Unbelievable, did I just hear this hate bill actually pass?

  6. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-16 16:23

    Yes, but did I hear in the past that the Governor will veto.

  7. Jeff Endrizzi 2016-02-16 16:24

    The bill passed 20-15.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-16 16:25

    Senate votes 20–15 to approve HB 1008. Bill goes to Governor for signature.

    Folks, call your friends, and tell them to call the Governor and ask for a veto. Only a veto can save South Dakota’s reputation, not to mention $200 million in federal funding and a few million more in damages from al the lawsuits school districts will get for following this bad policy that the state is imposing on them.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-16 16:53

    What federal government departments do we contact to report this abuse and get funding to South Dakota stopped?

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-16 17:05

    Rapid response from South Dakota Democratic Party:

    “Last in the nation in teacher pay. First in the nation in transgender discrimination. Quite the legacy for the 91st South Dakota Legislative Session,” said South Dakota Democratic Party Communications Director Michael Ewald.

    …”There hasn’t been a single documented incident in South Dakota that proves the bill is necessary. It’s a sad day for South Dakota,” said Ewald [SDDP, press release, 2016.02.16].

    Meanwhile, House defers debate on sales tax for teacher pay to Thursday.

  11. bearcreekbat 2016-02-16 17:20

    Cory, what did I tell you about the lack of religious doctrine to support transgender discrimination – now Hickey and I agree on another policy question as well as Biblical interpretation – go figure!

  12. grudznick 2016-02-16 17:59

    Mr. Nelson, everybody hates the Argus for its inaccuracy and bias.

  13. MC 2016-02-16 18:14

    Why is this even an issue at the State level?

    We have so much more that needs to be addressed.
    Our infrastructure is poor to dangerous shape.
    Our schools need attention (teacher pay)
    We have neglected our heroes.
    We have much to deal with before dealing with who goes wee where

  14. grudznick 2016-02-16 18:33

    Mr. MC, it’s about some people who want to jam their god down other people’s maw.

  15. Jenny 2016-02-16 19:05

    Holy Moly is twitter lighting up negatively for South Dakota. You asked for it SD GOP, I warned you.
    I’m just glad I don’t live there anymore so I don’t have to be embarrassed.

  16. grudznick 2016-02-16 19:29

    Ms. Jenny, I really don’t think many people read the twitter blog. This is just a fad that will blow over. But I don’t agree with the legislatures that waste time arguing about potty bills, I’m just sayin…

    It aggravates me that they waste time on such things. Who among you put them up to this?

  17. mike from iowa 2016-02-16 19:33

    This bill didn’t pass on legal merits,it passed because your state is run by phony kristian wingnuts trying to shove their religious ideas down everyone’s throats. This bill is not likely to pass constitutional muster. More waste of taxpayer’s dollars and a slap in the face to just about anyone deciding whether they want to live in such a regressive state.

  18. grudznick 2016-02-16 19:47

    Mike, there in Iowa where you live, do they pass constitutional mustard on all the bills or have you no idea? I’m just askin…

    As for living here, you haven’t even visited so I’m pretty sure the tourism department isn’t counting your tax dollars just yet. But if you do visit, I recommend the Campbell Street Cafe for breakfast. Be advised, they only serve Dakota Bacon.

  19. grudznick 2016-02-16 19:53

    I heard the speech given on the floor of the senate today by the opposition was “Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children” and then the over-godders shot it down.

  20. mike from iowa 2016-02-16 20:00

    Grudz-I spent a lifetime of weekends in my misspent teen years holding down a barstool in the old Buckaroo Bar in Hudson,South Dakota. Even drank with the town cop after he got off duty. Smiled and waived at Dick Kneipf on a billboard as I crossed the border into SD. Spent enough money at that one bar I prolly should qualify for a pension,or at least frequent drunk driver miles.

    iowa’s legislature is split so bills have to be compromised before they get sent to the dingbat guv. You aren’t likely gonna find much if anything that gets passed that will be questionable as far as constitutionality.

    And remember,iowa was first in the nation to allow gay marriage.Religious nuts went nuts,campaigned against several members of the iowa supreme court,got them replaced with hand picked nutters and still couldn’t get gay marruage overturned.

  21. grudznick 2016-02-16 20:03

    I’m guessing Dick Kneipf waved back in his own sort of way. He was a bit of a souse himself.

  22. grudznick 2016-02-16 20:17

    Sorry, Mike, but I can’t click on the things that might go to the mal ware or pornish things. I was burned in the eyes once by clicking one of Lar’s blue links.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-16 20:39

    (Joseph, no, I don’t say it. You can say it, but I don’t! :-) )

  24. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-16 21:10

    Well Grudz, since I’ve got a Mac, I am not afraid of such things, so I cut and pasted the main gist that MFI wanted you to see:

    The Ballad of the snacilbupeR
    by Primo Encarnación

    We stood on the Hill with our hands out
    With a lead in the Senate and House.
    We offered to work well in harness
    (Can you harness a horse to a louse?)
    The country had spoken quite clearly
    But now found themselves in a stupor:
    The minority GOP party
    Had turned into snacilbupeR.

    Tradition’s conservative party
    Likes all of their changes quite slow:
    They keep one foot on the brake pedal
    And prefer “Caution” to “Go!”
    But lately they’ve slowed so completely
    That “progress” to them is a curse.
    The people we call snacilbupeR
    Are Republicans stuck in reverse.

    They’re taking their country back with them
    To a land that time has forgot,
    When white Jesus bronc-busted T-Rex,
    With sodomites busted by Lot,
    And blah people knew well their places,
    And wives? Well they were just super:
    Barefoot and pregnant while cooking
    Is the gal for a snacilbupeR!

    And guns, well sir, don’t get them started!
    This country was always its best
    When a man who went out on a Sunday
    Was never considered well-dressed
    Without he had strapped on his pistol,
    To shoot someone inside a church.
    The Christian and armed snacilbupeR
    Is the saintliest man since John Birch.

    As far back in time as they long for,
    The old time they tend to forget
    Is when all of the Indians lived here,
    And white peoples’ backs were all wet.
    Columbus and all his successors,
    Each good snacilbupeR believes,
    Were white Christian action-film heroes,
    Not manifest destiny thieves.

    Then poor benighted electors,
    In twenty-first century ten,
    Gave back Congress to snacilbupeR,
    Then did it again and again.
    The districts are so gerrymandered,
    Minority votes so suppressed,
    That unless all you good folks are voting
    Then all progress will be regressed.

    snacilbupeR – what care they for science
    Unless it is factually free
    In order to serve the agenda
    Of the fossilized fuel industry?
    For polar bears, people and coastlines,
    For the Atlantic Goliath Grouper,
    For anyone who’s not a Koch-head,
    Your murderer is snacilbupeR.

    No matter your views this election –
    “Go Hill!” or “Feel the Bern” –
    The death of Judge snacilbupeR
    Means we need all your votes for this turn.
    And now that this ditty is finished
    And you’ve all stuck it out like a trooper
    We’ve learned the true meaning of evil:
    Not each other – snacilbupeR.

    Be Sociable, Share!

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-16 21:38

    BCB, you called it! Alas, Brock Greenfield and his backers didn’t invoke the Bible, just more drivel and prejudice… plus Senator Omdahl’s really mean disrespect to Senator Deb Peters.

  26. Madman 2016-02-16 23:27

    Thank you Mr. Greenfield for taking us back to segregation. Listening to the reasons why Brock supported the bill I have to say, well at least he didn’t call anyone a lackey. It’s pretty sad that his expert testimony to the bill came from an article he “read”. I would say there’s a pretty good chance this article is a Brock fabrication. No title to the story, no source given, not even a reference date given to cross check, the only fact is it’s just an “article”.

  27. mike from iowa 2016-02-17 07:06

    Thank you,Mr Lanny! :)

    Back to the subject at hand,have wingnuts ever tried to isolate kids with disabilities and/or diseases and make them feel less than welcome in schools? Or is that a possibility in the future if this icky transgendered thingy flies?

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-17 09:25

    MC, thank you. We need more legislators with that sense of priorities.

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