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Omdahl Personally Attacks Peters on Senate Floor Over Opposition to HB 1008

Sen. David Omdahl, SD Senate floor debate, 2016.02.16 (screen cap SDPB)
Sen. David Omdahl, SD Senate floor debate, 2016.02.16 (screen cap SDPB)

Was Senator David Omdahl born insensitive, or is it a lifestyle choice?

After spewing his ignorant spite toward transgender kids in a shocking public comment in Sioux Falls February 6, the District 11 Republican launched his aging white male rage at a Senate colleague from his own party yesterday during formal debate on House Bill 1008, the now infamous anti-transgender school potty bill headed for the Governor’s desk.

Sen. Deb Peters, SD Senate floor debate, 2016.02.16 (screen cap SDPB)
Sen. Deb Peters, SD Senate floor debate, 2016.02.16 (screen cap SDPB)

Senator Deb Peters (R-9/Hartford) raised a couple of questions about HB 1008 (why exempt private schools? why specify “elementary” and “secondary” schools but not “middle” schools?), then said she would vote against HB 1008 because for the kids she talks to, including the boys and girls on her sons’ cross country team, “This isn’t an issue that’s an issue in the high school. Kids don’t see this as a hot topic in their school.” After supportive comments from Senator James Bradford (D-27/Pine Ridge), Senator Omdahl rose for this oppositional exchange with Senator Peters:

OMDAHL: Of what I understand, you have boys? You don’t have any girls? Is that correct?

MICHELS: Senator Peters, do you care to answer the question?

PETERS: It’s pretty evident, but, obviously, yes, I only have boys.

OMDHAL: I guess my point is, I’ve got a nine-year-old granddaughter. She’s an innocent girl. And girls – I’ve talked to teachers about this – girls are conscious of their little bodies. They don’t even like to shower together. So I ask you, please, please support this bill. These young, innocent girls don’t need to be exposed to the male anatomy at that age. Thank you [South Dakota Senate, floor debate, transcribed in Kealey Bultena, “Transgender Bathroom Bill Moves to Governor’s Desk,” SDPB Radio, 2016.02.16].

How did Senator Omdahl violate decency and Senate decorum in this attack?

  1. Senator Omdahl attempts to use an aspect of a fellow Senator’s personal life to discredit that fellow Senator’s testimony.
  2. Senator Omdahl uses this personal attack to dodge the substance of Senator Peters’s statement, that real kids, the kids Senator Peters knows very well, perceive none of the threat to their innocence that Senator Omdahl projects onto them to justify HB 1008.
  3. Senator Omdahl presumes to understand female psychology better than Senator Peters and implies that Senator Peters does not understand the concerns of innocent nine-year-old girls, completely ignoring the fact that Senator Peters has more experience as an innocent nine-year-old girl and a female than Senator Omdahl ever will.
  4. Senator Omdahl promulgates patriarchal sexism, portraying females exclusively as defenseless and males like himself as their brave protectors.

You can view Senator Peters’s questions and comments at 2:10:05 and Senator Omdahl’s attack at 2:14:50 in the SDPB video of the Senate’s February 16 floor debate.

Senator Omdahl’s insulting sexism fit a broader pattern of patronizing rhetoric from HB 1008 backers, who portrayed opponents as emotional (thus, not reliable) and called for respect and civility in the debate (implying that they hold a moral high ground in this discourse and that their opponents are somehow misbehaving in their passionate and far better reasoned and evidenced responses). But Senator Omdahl’s personal attack on Senator Peters epitomized the arrogant insensitivity and male insecurity (you want to dish? we can dish, Dave) motivating HB 1008.


  1. Jenny 2016-02-17

    Nine year old girls, little bodies and showering together. Makes you wonder what what’s on his mind.

  2. Rorschach 2016-02-17

    That’s just rich! An old man talking to a woman like she doesn’t know about girls because she’s not mother to one. Someone remind Sen. Omdahl that Sen. Peters knows more about 9 year old girls than he ever will.

  3. John Stapleton 2016-02-17

    A cranky uninformed old man, I bet he has yelled “get off my lawn” more than once in his life.

  4. Steve Sibson 2016-02-17

    “Senator Omdahl’s insulting sexism fit”

    versus Cory’s anti-male sexist fit.

    I thought you people were for gender equality? If so, then what difference is it that you are a male or a female in this debate?

  5. Rorschach 2016-02-17

    When Donald Trump says stupid things I know it’s calculated to appeal to a certain demographic of the GOP party. Trump’s a pretty smart guy. When Sen. Omdahl says stupid things it just shows he’s in the demographic Trump is wooing.

    Anything else Sen. Omdahl wants to mansplain to the ladies in the senate and the gallery and the cracker barrels? He has a few more days to do it.

  6. Rorschach 2016-02-17

    “So I ask you, please, please support this bill. These young, innocent girls don’t need to be exposed to the male anatomy at that age.”

    Maybe what Sen. Omdahl needs is a bill requiring doors on elementary school bathroom stalls. …. Oh, they already have those? Without a law?

  7. jerry 2016-02-17

    Omdahl is an oaf whose time has come for the pasture to spend some time with that grandchild. That way he can coach her on how to be as big of an ass as he is. The good news is that children rebel and voila!, we have a progressive in the future. Always a silver lining in such an evil cloud.

  8. Bob Newland 2016-02-17

    Whatever we are, Sibby, we’re not you, or Omdahl. Praise the lord.

  9. mike from iowa 2016-02-17

    What the sinator needs do is to make sure those nine year old boys and girls have health insurance,fully funded education system,enough food to eat and a state where there are good jobs awaiting when they graduate. And more water and a better class of politicians wouldn’t hurt,either.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-17

    Mike, you just laid out my campaign agenda. Beautiful.

  11. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-17

    Seriously Steve, you don’t or can’t see the difference?

  12. Paul Herting 2016-02-17

    It’s become pretty clear to me that the people that I need to protect my daughter from are not transgender children trying to use the restroom, but rather the “twisted minds” of the men in the legislature.

  13. Les 2016-02-17

    I woke to a beautiful sunny winter day and then see this attempt by a bad actor and want to puke. Yes, Senator, I have a wonderful 6 year old grand daughter and worry less about what she sees while growing up than I fear this cancerous growth in government manipulating her body and thoughts for life. And yes I am also pro life!

  14. Jeff Barth 2016-02-17

    Thank you Senator Peters.

  15. Steve Sibson 2016-02-17

    “transgender children”

    So why are the social engineers telling kids they can pick their own gender?

  16. Rorschach 2016-02-17

    You got to pick your own species from among several possibilities, Mr. Sibson.

  17. larry kurtz 2016-02-17

    Attacking named contributors in any forum from anonymity is cowardly and poor form.

  18. larry kurtz 2016-02-17

    sibby, few are more actively involved in social engineering than you are. pick a lane, little buddy.

  19. Rorschach 2016-02-17

    you are an expert on poor form mr. kurtz. you exercise it routinely, you miserable bastard.

  20. Owen 2016-02-17

    So Steve. You think kids choose to be picked on and bullied?

  21. Madman 2016-02-17

    I think I have seen it all now. Sibby here is pushing for more state government control and to take it away from local control. Was the original way it was handled an issue by local districts? Were schools asking for this change?

    The question is will this potential law create more labeling and whispers as people may now wonder why a transgender student who looks like the other sex is now using the wrong bathroom. (to help out folks a biological male who looks female is now going to be using the men’s bathroom) People will now have to explain why this is happening and/or the student themselves. I know for new teachers they may even intercept that student and ask why their going into the perceived wrong bathroom.

  22. memommamo 2016-02-17

    As a former little girl, I was *gasp* exposed to the male genitals of my brother. One was 18-months younger than me – and sometimes (to save time I would suppose), my mother would bathe us together – naked – in the same tub (oh the horror!). A few years later, another boy was born into our family, and I became exposed to his genitals when I would help my mom by changing his diaper. Am I now immoral because I was exposed to the genitals of the opposite sex at such a young and tender age? Does it make me a sexual deviant? NO!

    Furthermore, as the mother of sons (one who is 9), sometimes I take my boys into the ladies room with me (especially in large cities and gas stations). Do you know what my boys do in the ladies room? Their bodily business – and then they wash their hands. Sometimes my little one is even in the stall with me. Strangely enough we have not yet encountered a transgendered person flashing their genitals at us. Or does this only happen in schools? It never happened to me in school.

    I’ve heard more stories about molestation of little boys in public restrooms by the hands of old straight white men than I ever have of a transgendered person doing anything pervy in one (in fact, I’ve never heard of it ever happening).

    How can Republicans be pro-life, but anti-people?

  23. Craig 2016-02-17

    I haven’t heard any testimony from parents of children who were exposed to “male anatomy” (or remale anatomy) of a transgender child in any school within the state. I also haven’t heard testimony from any teacher or administrator who has claimed this is a problem in our schools.

    Why is that?

    Could it be that this isn’t a problem anywhere outside of the minds of the Republicans in Pierre? Could it be they are once again trying to create a solution for a problem that does not exist? Could it be that they are projecting their personal interest in the bodies of our children into a bill which they feel will help them sleep at night?

    These people are disgusting. They fail to realize that transgendered children are often ashamed of their bodies and will do everything in their power to hide them from others. You would have a lot lower chance of a transgendered child showing his or her genitals to others than you would a non-transgendered child. Trans kids aren’t going to be excited with the prospect of putting their bodies on display and I can assure you they won’t want to be noticed.

    If the legislature is so concerned over restroom matters they could mandate that any stall in a public restroom has a locking door, and they could make it a felony to supply anything of lower quality than two-ply toilet paper.

    Meanwhile, our teachers are still being paid far less than they are worth, our legislatures are obviously paid far more than they are worth, the middle class is shrinking, we continue to export our best and brightest to other states, and poverty is rampant within our reservations. Yet the legislature finds none of these issues as pressing as worrying about a hypothetical transgender child esposing him or herself to some other kids.

    I’ll be anticipating another bill that outlaws conjoined twins from engaging in sexual activity with anyone else as it might send the wrong message that South Dakota openly supports ménages à trois. Such a law makes about as much sense, and would have as much impact, as HB 1008.

  24. larry kurtz 2016-02-17

    There you go again claiming the moral high ground from the shadows: it’s why Democrats have lost the electorate in South Dakota and roundly remaindered to being asterisks. It’d be numbing if I wasn’t so pissed off at my home state.

  25. Lynn 2016-02-17

    Listened to the testimony of State House Affairs Committee re: HB 1209. Oh my! I’ve advised this before and will mention it again. If at all possible it would be healthier and safer for those parents of transgendered minors and older to move out of South Dakota to a state like Minnesota where there are better protections and opportunities.

    By the time there is radical political change here in South Dakota to make it a safe, tolerant and accepting environment these most vulnerable individuals will have wasted valuable time, energy and emotions dealing with all this.

    Sadly If they remain there could be a few more suicides before the political environment changes here. :(

  26. JonD 2016-02-17

    The reason these issues are incessantly brought up by the Republican members of our government certainly could be any of the things you mention, Craig, but I really doubt it’s that complicated. I think it is far more likely that they do it simply because they are lazy and it’s easy. It requires no research or number-crunching, in fact no work at all other than the time discussing it on the floor and it rings the right bell with their low-information conservative voters when it’s trotted back out at election time. I truly don’t believe they have any interest in the subject beyond the point that it allows them to play the big shot without having to expend any effort.

  27. Steve Sibson 2016-02-17

    “People will now have to explain why this is happening”

    And there should be an explanation. What exactly is the reason for the social engineers to put into a kids mind that they can pick their own gender? And some of you have it right, this ends up causing problems for those who decide to act it out. Why do the social engineers want to create a confused society?

  28. Penny 2016-02-17

    Congrats to the legislature for helping on all fronts to increase the brain drain in South Dakota. What young person is going to want to live here in a place where bigotry and prejudice is so openly preached and tolerated? Regardless of how you feel about transgender persons, the legislators won’t pony up $80 million in education funds, but are willing to risk losing $205 million in federal education funds because their stupid potty bill runs against Title IX anti discrimination rules. BTW, I know a trans child. How do I tell her that the legislature hates her just because she exists? Shame on these ignorant self righteous egomaniacs.

  29. mike from iowa 2016-02-17

    Sibby,the social engineer you are impugning is your very own fantasy gawd almighty. he/she/it amuses himself/herself/itself by throwing you knuckle-curveballs which you swing and miss as intended. It is okay that you don’t understand how these things can happen. Someday I will set you down with crusty Grudz and he can explain the facts of life to you.

  30. Penny 2016-02-17

    Steve Sibson, kids aren’t arbitrarily picking their gender. Trans children know what their brains are telling them just as you, as a child knew that your brain was telling you that you were a boy. You didn’t decide it. And at a young age, you didn’t know that it was because of what’s down there either as I’m sure you would retort. You just knew what felt true to you. There are no social engineers or parents for that matter putting the ideas in these children’s heads. Do a little reading, learn the anguish the parents go through, learn the long and arduous process of counseling and doctor visits the children go through. Its a very long and careful process that has been tried and tested over the past 50 years. It didn’t just magically appear because a year ago the internet picked it up.

  31. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-17

    Lynn, I won’t ask anyone to risk their lives for this cause. If nothing short of mortal sacrifice will save South Dakota… then we’re lost.

    But I’m not going to concede the battle that easily. We can find ways to win without putting young lives at risk. Allies here and abroad can invest in campaigns to help us replace the ignoramuses, claim a Legislative majority, take the Governor’s office in 2018, and stop this constant stream of ill-informed, abusive, self-destructive laws.

    I don’t want any more kids to be bullied into suicide. But I won’t stand by and let this Legislature drag this state into social, economic, and moral suicide.

  32. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-17

    Besides, someone’s got to stay and tell David Omdahl he’s wrong.

  33. Lynn 2016-02-17


    It’s not just young transgender lives at risk but adults also with limited means. They are all innocent pawns with enough challenges to deal with.

  34. grudznick 2016-02-17

    Mr. Sibby is a very manly sort of man so I know where he’s coming from, and I feel a deep, manly admiration for many of his views. But not this one, or the ones that involve the conspiracy of a New World Order taking over and doing these sort of social engineering to advance their causes.

    I fear a law bill creating the “drop trou police” will be next.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-17

    All of those at risk need to do what’s right for themselves, keep themselves safe and healthy. I impose no risky mandate on anyone. I begrudge no one his or her self-preservation. But I’ll take all the help I can get from all whose willing and able to give it.

  36. Steve Sibson 2016-02-17

    Penny, the social engineers been at this for far more then 50 years.

  37. larry kurtz 2016-02-17

    Penny, the real social engineers are the louts who framed the US Constitution crafting liberty from whole cloth and driving slaves to weave the flag.

  38. Steve Sibson 2016-02-17

    David Omdahl is not wrong:

    Allowing a man who calls himself ‘transgender’ to enter a woman’s area has already proved problematic in the United States.

    In 2012 a college in Washington state decided it would not prevent a 45-year-old man who presents himself as a transgender “female” from lounging naked in a women’s locker room in an area frequented by girls as young as six. Teenage girls on a high school swim team were using the facilities when they saw “Colleen” Francis deliberately exposing male genitalia through the glass window in a sauna. Police told one outraged mother that the university could not bar the biological male from the premises.

  39. larry kurtz 2016-02-17

    Sibby makes a good point: South Dakota is the last refuge of the white christianic sovereign where your bunker is your castle and twenty pounds of rice and beans are your last defense against the BLM.

  40. larry kurtz 2016-02-17

    you execrable cur.

  41. larry kurtz 2016-02-17

    and with all due respect….

  42. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-17

    David is Omdahl is wrong.

    Sibson cites a years old case and expects all South Dakota transgender laws should be based on it. What a bunch of bull.

  43. jerry 2016-02-17

    Beans and rice Mr. Kurtz would require water. Do you really think that these sovereigns have thought that out? I think you give them way to much credit. They would eventually be overtaken by themselves in a month, 6 weeks at the tops. The only thing that feeds them is their fear of themselves and what they see in the mirror. They worry that they are not one of those they hate.

  44. mike from iowa 2016-02-18

    The guy Sibby refers to has a long history as a sexual predator-at least 12 years and molested a five year old girl. He noted the Montreal man, 37, attacked four vulnerable females between the ages of five and 53 in Montreal and Toronto over the past 12 years.

    “He has demonstrated from the age of 12 until the present an inability to control his sexual impulses,” said McMahon.

    Hambrook served four years in prison for sexually abusing a five-year-old girl and while on bail for that crime, raping a 27-year-old intellectually-challenged woman in Montreal.

    The prosecution asserted Hambrook, a former stripper and escort from Quebec, simply cannot control his deviant sexual urges and that locking him up indefinitely is the best way to protect the public.

    Appearing to be transgendered is the least worrisome aspect of this guy’s life.

  45. Wess Pravecek 2016-02-18

    Bullying seems to be the name of the game. Ignorance brings on fear and then fear brings on the bullying

  46. clcjm 2016-02-18

    “Colleen” is not a transgender but a convicted sex offender who should have never been allowed into that facility! If he applied to the college or any group that had an affiliation with the college, a background check should have been done that would have revealed his criminal record, thus banning him! To use that story to label all transgenders, especially children, as potential threats to other students, is very xenophobic!
    As far as the “social engineers” somehow turning children into gays or transgenders, that’s just nonsense! Most know from an early age that they’re different, that they don’t fit into the stereotypes for gender orientation or identity. No parent wants their child to go through the abuse and rejection that goes with being different!

    Having experienced a number of types of discrimination, including gender, ethnic, age and even for being too white I know how it feels, at least to some extent and would not wish it on anyone! This law is about hate based on fear of what people don’t understand and DD should veto it! He talks about his parents being given a chance to work despite they’re being deaf but wants to single out other people who are different and label them and limit their opportunities to succeed in life, starting apparently in kindergarten! Too much hate and hypocrisy going on in SD and the US!!

  47. jake 2016-02-18

    It seems that the recent “conversion” of a famous Olympic gold medalist into the opposite sex has got the likes of the newcomer to this blog and Sibby writhing with their pants/and or panties twisting in knots-possibly hurting genitalia. That gold medalist CHOSE the conversion-remember that. Check out the frequency of baby births that are hard to identify the sex of such. Predominance of one or other genitalia at birth may not be the case as maturity progresses.
    This whole episode of a legislature that seeks to double its wages before dealing with underpaid teachers appears to follow the racist ugly South that instituted separate drinking fountains for coloreds/whites. Anyone care to argue the difference? It’s mean, ugly and ill-advised legislation brought by sexual-obsessed legislators to solve a problem that never existed. Period.

  48. mike from iowa 2016-02-18

    Sibby’s head will ‘splode when he comes face to crotch with a hermaphrodite in the bathroom. Then we will ultimately discover which has the confused mind.

  49. mike from iowa 2016-02-18

    Sibby’s white christianic beans sure work up a blow.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-18

    Thanks, all, for throughly debunking Steve’s Francis example. Good work.

    I’ll simply add that Steve’s example is entirely irrelevant to HB 1008, which forbids any adult like Francis from using a bathroom or locker room designated for students.

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