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Sioux Falls Surrenders to Jackley Anti-LGBTQ Agenda

Attorney General Marty Jackley continues to target transgender South Dakotans with his participation on their dime in a multi-state lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s directive that schools not bully transgender kids with paranoid potty rules. A.G. Jackley appears to have pressured the Sioux Falls City Council not to complicate his litigation with its own LGBTQ anti-discrimination rules:

City Councilor Christine Erickson made a motion to withdraw the proposals at the request of City Attorney David Pfeifle, who originally pitched the changes earlier this year but reversed course last week, citing conversations with Attorney General Marty Jackley.

…Pfeifle cited South Dakota’s probable involvement in a multi-state lawsuit against the federal government over its interpretation that Title IV laws guarantee transgender students the right to use the bathroom of their choice, whether based on their biological sex or gender identity [Joe Sneve, “Council Retreats from Anti-Discrimination Updates,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.06.15].

In totally unrelated news, likely gubernatorial candidate Marty Jackley is coming to Sioux Falls to raise campaign cash for his PAC on June 27 at the home of chicken magnate Phil Sonstegard.

The Sioux Falls City Council seems to know a thing or two about being chicken:

It is somewhat unprecedented for a city to be a trailblazer on an issue like this and usually we look for the state’s direction and also the federal government’s when it comes to an issue of this magnitude. And so we’re really looking for that direction from the state and making sure we are working together as a whole with the state… [Sioux Falls city councillor and former Republican legislator Christine Erickson, quoted in Levi Gutz, “Sioux Falls Tables LGBTQ Ordinance,” SDPB Radio, 2016.06.15].

South Dakota pursues an agenda of regressive discrimination, and our biggest city, which prides itself on leading South Dakota in economic development and quality of life, lets Marty Jackley and the Religious Right set its agenda on equality and justice.


  1. mike from iowa 2016-06-16 12:00

    B’rack, B’rack, B’rack, Barackkkkk!

    Chickens know a winner when they see one.

  2. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-06-16 12:42

    Does that mean that the Pride Festival at Terrace Park this Saturday from 12-7PM will be cancelled?

    They had a little song that we used to sing when I was in basic training. I will substitute Sioux Falls for the name of the person that we would insert.

    “No balls a’tall, no balls a’tall, Yes Sioux Falls has no balls a’tall.”

  3. Bruce 2016-06-17 08:17

    As person who spends a great of time watching Sioux Falls city government (or lack there of), City Councilor Christine Erickson did the only thing possible with this proposed legislation. Erickson took one for the team to move it off the table until it is properly composed with proper definitions and scope. The motion to withdrawal could have been presented by any of the Council members because they all wanted it fixed. The entire council wanted this poorly written crap gone.

    I agree with their action. This comes from a Sioux Falls civil rights and process activist who creates videos of proceedings ( or If our activists saw any funny business in this vote, it was on the part of the city attorney’s office looking for ways to slip normally unacceptable language into a feel good change. In the 2016 city election the public overwhelming adopted equality language for the Home Rule Charter, so it was not expected updates to the ordinances would be required. A few weeks ago, this is what it appeared to be, a simple cleanup.

    The video at and show the process. I for one am glad this was taken off the table for rewrite.

    The Sioux Falls city attorney’s office is doing something, for someone, without letting the public and especially the Council in on the rest of the story. Our city attorney’s office is poorly run and operates through loopholes to get their poorly crafted work done.

    Another item tabled just before this one, was a campaign finance change allowing the mayor or even a council member to shake down employees for financial contributions. It would have also allowed an employee with the ability to make contributions to the officials running for office. A problem with this change, is either way, the employee creates an impression of buying a future demotion if refusal or promotion if given. This is the reason for the federal Hatch Act.

    There are also issues being investigated based on very interesting contributions to recent campaigns. One of the issues involved a ballot issue financed in part by the eventual awarded contractor firms. How is this not an issue? There are many more as we investigate our local campaign finance reports, we will be publicizing them. We video meetings and events with postings on because we want more people to explore what is possible in their local communities for open government. Some of us have the injuries and arrests to prove some people in power do want it done.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-17 08:54

    What alarms me, Bruce, is Erickson’s statement that Sioux Falls needs to take its cues from the state on equality. The Sioux Falls City Council should not defer to state-preferred discrimination; SF should use its clout to push this issue. Instead of rewriting the ordinance and getting it back up for discussion, it sounds like the city wants to capitulate to Jackley so he can push his lawsuit. Can we be sure anyone is rewriting the ordinance for further consideration?

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-06-17 08:54

    What was so badly written about the yanked ordinance?

  6. Bruce 2016-06-17 09:12

    Without getting deep into the details, the City Attorney’s office was sent back to their computers. The administration gave many different stories to justify the ordinance need and what it actually will accomplish. The City Attorney and his staff gave many off the record “suggestions” to be considered for justifying the vote. Like I said above, this was a feel good piece of legislation of little value leaving a downside to hurt many.

  7. Mary Perpich 2016-06-17 18:35

    He is running for governor and pandering to the bigotry that helped create the transgender bathroom bill. He won’t get elected that way.

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