The most vile speech of the week in Pierre comes from Rep. Steven Haugaard (R-10/Sioux Falls). Speaking in favor of overriding Governor Dennis Daugaard’s veto of House Bill 1008, Rep. Haugaard revealed the true intent of the paranoid potty bill was not to protect student privacy or to prescribe reasonable accommodations for transgender students in school bathrooms and locker rooms but rather to condemn and eradicate the “virus” of transgender identification:
I transcribe Rep. Haugaard’s speech in full and translate without mercy:
Just to give a little more clarity about what the Representative from Bennett County was talking about, she was describing an incident in their area where a young lady was choosing to use the male facilities, and at some point along the way after she had done this for a while, a number of boys gang-raped her, and within a period of time, a year or two, whatever it was, this girl who’d chosen to use that bathroom for the boys’ side in the midst of her angst and confusion, she ended up suiciding [this and all subsequent blockquotes: Rep. Steven Haugaard (R-10/Sioux Falls), remarks in floor debate on consideration of veto of HB 1008, South Dakota House of Representatives, 2016.03.03].
Translation: These dumb kids choosing to be transgender are getting raped and killed. We have to pass HB 1008 and ban them from picking their own bathroom to protect them from becoming victims of their own stupidity.
Well, that’s my experience with this issue. And it is a bill that protects all of the kids in the public schools including those that have some issues in regard to what their gender is. And for us to stand here and say the Governor knows best, we passed it up through both houses and he chose to veto it, even after he’d expressed support for it. And I think it’s disingenuous for us to flip our vote just because we think well it’s an election year, the Governor vetoed it, and we don’t want to offend the Governor. Do what you did the first time.
Translation: There’s no such thing as changing your mind due to listening to the other side. There’s just rank political opportunism (even though the Governor isn’t running for reëlection).
We’re the adults in the room—
Translation: Transgenderism is childish.
—and we should recognize when there’s these issues that have become—they’ve been so simple in our history and now they’re so complex. And we act on so many things in this chamber out of a misplaced sense of compassion that we do a tremendous disservice to those kids that are going through the angst of growing up in those adolescent years.
Translation: Transgender students deserve no compassion.
And as we’ve seen, the literature tells us that a high percentage of people who choose this transgender life—and I say choose, it’s not embedded in their DNA—when they go through this process, the vast majority reject that transgender situation as they become young adults and revert back to the gender of their birth.
Translation: Transgenderism is a choice, a rebellion against DNA, a phase that right-minded kids grow out of (which is bunk).
And in that timeframe, along with those issues of confusion, there’s a high percentage, estimated to be as much as 20 times higher for this particular group of people identifying in this way, 320 times higher likelihood of suicide.
You can think back over the decades, there’s always been some issues along the way throughout all of history where people have had choices that they have made and some confusion about their very being, but not the way it’s become in the past 20 years. It seems like a virus that’s broken out. And that virus is grown by the assent of people like us where we say, well we’re going to accommodate this, and we’re going to have compassion.
We want to be wise enough to recognize that when you feed the fire of this kind of confusion, you’re going to add to number of people that are going to make this choice. And when you help that along, you help along people in the process of moving into a lifestyle that is never going to be what was embedded in their soul, and you’re going to see more and more of these people suicide.
Translation: By opposing HB 1008, you are killing children.
And if you just stop for a minute and consider that, consider the ramifications of this, and you think about the very act of suicide, and I deal with this on a regular basis, as many as four-plus petitions per day in Minnehaha County, of people who are danger to self or others. And I have these hearings, I have one scheduled tomorrow, I’m not sure if it’s on this issue or not, but people that actively attempt suicide, by overdose or hanging or jumping or often times just a gunshot wound.
Translation: Now I’m talking about things that don’t have anything to do with transgender students, but I need to inflate my ethos and pathos to set up the next line.
So you think about this when you vote on this, that you might be encouraging a young person to choose this situation and perpetuate this, and you think about somebody tucking a pistol up under their throat and pulling the trigger.
You might feel warm and fuzzy today because we encourage somebody to not have that angst in their life and struggle with this, we gave them the opportunity to live this lifestyle. But you consider what suicide is, and that we’re saying, yes, go ahead, we’ll endorse this lifestyle.
Translation: You warm and fuzzy liberals are blowing kids’ heads off (which actually is the proper response to zombies, so since we’re responding to a deadly virus, in a way, that should be fine).
We need to vote the way we did the first time…. We need to be responsible and do what we recognize to be wisdom as opposed to misplaced emotion.
Translation: My emotion about this issue is perfectly acceptable. Your emotion about this issue invalidates your position.
Because we can all walk out of here after a vote, and some of you might think, well, I’m going to switch my vote because I’m coming up for election, I’m not sure who’s going to be against me. But the fact is you do what’s right, whether it gets you elected again or not. And you need to be prudent in your choices and recognize the gravity of these votes.
Translation: I’m starting to feel like Custer here.
And here we sit, just because the Governor says he’s vetoing this for a variety of reasons, that shouldn’t make a bit of difference because you should have considered all those things when you voted the first time.
Translation: Once we cast a vote, we’re done thinking about an issue. There’s no need to consider new information, because we’ve considered everything that could be relevant to our vote.
And like I said, we can have a misplaced sense of compassion, but it’s exactly that, it’s a misplaced sense of compassion, and we need to just stand by and recognize that this is a very serious situation in our culture. We need to step up and do the right things.
Translation: Repeating my main point: transgender students deserve no compassion. They deserve a swift kick in the pants/slacks for threatening to unravel good Christian culture. We need to fight them before they destroy themselves and take us with them.
This is a difficult vote for everybody. It seems like it should be simple, but we should just be consistent with our votes, and I’d encourage us to vote green on this, send it over to the Senate, and they can have the same struggles.
Translation: I’m working oh so admirably hard to stand against decency and civil rights. If I’m going to get kicked around in the next election, I want to take some Senators down along with me. 7th Cavalry, charge!
Rep. Haugaard’s victim-blaming sentiments still won a bare majority of the House, 36–29, but not the two-thirds necessary to send the veto override discussion to the Senate.
Rep. Haugaard can’t settle on whether transgender students choose their malady or catch it. But Rep. Haugaard’s hateful remarks add to the pile of vile rhetoric from conservative Sioux Falls legislators who view transgender students as plague vectors to be quarantined and cured. If we warm and fuzzy liberals choose to coddle them instead, Rep. Haugaard only blames us and them for their rapes and suicides.