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Bartscher/FHA to Head off Transgender Potty Initiative with Legislative Distraction

The main headline is that right-wing religious fundamentalists plan to distract the Legislature with more anti-transgender paranoia in the 2017 Session:

Dale Bartscher, executive director of the Family Heritage Alliance, said the conservative Christian group approved a draft of a bill last week that would bar transgender students from using the bathroom, locker room or shower room if it doesn’t match their biological gender at birth. The bill calls for schools to offer accommodations for “students with unique privacy needs, including transgender students” [Dana Ferguson, “Conservative Group to Push Transgender Bathroom Bill,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.12.21].

But Jack Heyd is organizing a ballot measure, right? Why not just let the voters decide this issue?

[Bartscher: “Quite frankly, we don’t want to see any initiated measure in 2018, we want to see the Legislature approve it and the governor sign it…. This issue is on the front burner for a lot of South Dakotans” [Ferguson, 2016.12.21].

Wait a minute: tax revenues are down, the budget is tight, and the next President’s chief strategist is a Leninist radical who wants to destroy the federal government on which South Dakota depends for 35.8% of its budget, and a lot of South Dakotans think kids choosing which bathroom to belongs on the Legislature’s front burner?

Turn that heat down: donate to Equality South Dakota, donate to the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, donate a little time to contacting your legislators and tell them to focus on the budget and education and stop bullying kids.

And remember: there is no evidence that transgender kids using the bathrooms of their choice poses a danger to anybody.


  1. Loren 2016-12-22 09:47

    What’s a good Republican sesssion without a bill on sex or genitals or morals or who you can love? Less government, my eye, but thank you for helping control our lives! What would we do without you?

  2. Rorschach 2016-12-22 10:29

    Republicans are for local control, no?

  3. Dicta 2016-12-22 10:44

    I guess the truckloads of lost revenue and, what appears to be coming, the subsequent retraction of the bill in North Carolina taught some people absolutely nothing.

  4. jerry 2016-12-22 10:57

    As the legislature has plenty of cash to toss around $25,000,000.00 that Rounds and Daugaard ripped off from taxpayers, I say they use it to make all bathrooms both boys and girls usage. We see that in many commercial buildings as well as airplanes and the like. I think that by passing legislation that money would go to school districts to make bathrooms private for the sake of all of the children’s privacy when doing their big and little jobs. Bathroom stalls for all. Showers that are private as well for sports, just like the clubs with lockers and that sort of thing. No one would ever need to see each other’s junk for any reason possible. Problem solved, all it takes is the fact that this is just another wedgey issue.

  5. Jenny 2016-12-22 11:12

    This is so not an issue in MN. My daughter’s middle school has a reasonable policy that says one doesn’t have to dress for gym if they don’t want to. That’s it – no big deal.
    There are handful that don’t dress for gym and that’s it. The students are treated respectfully and it’s no big thing. Quit making issues out of nothing SD! Grow up!

  6. Jenny 2016-12-22 11:17

    Middle school dances at my daughter’s school are also not a big deal if two boys or two girls dance a slow dance together. The students don’t think anything of it. Love is love.

  7. Porter Lansing 2016-12-22 11:59

    Schadenfreude File ….. It’s entertaining that Dakota War College readers have turned on the FBI agent’s kid. (What did you do wrong in the FBI to get sentenced to work in SoDak?) On the potty bill redux about 75% of the commenters are against it. It’s been a trend lately. Readers unhappy with Patty’s comments and Patty telling them they’re stupid. hehe Lumps of coal to the whole college. PS … Jenny is right on. Teens don’t shower at school, don’t have to dress for PE and have tolerance for other kids that are called all kinds of names by anonymous commenters, over there. Imagine an entire generation of graduates that stayed in SoDak.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-22 12:33

    Can you repost the list of businesses that would consider abandoning the state if this potty bill were to pass.
    I tried finding it but had no luck.

  9. o 2016-12-22 13:03

    I HATE this issue. Certainly because of the whole treatment of children/people who are “different” and how to best help them see themselves as valuable, but also because of what this debate has (and will do) to good Republicans I know. Decent, kind men and women get fear mongered (that’s right a verb) with the bombast of “protecting our daughters” into forgetting that we are talking about “sons” and daughters” with these trans or LGBTQ children as well. They get drawn in by such a tunnel view of “right” it leaves trans and/or LGBTQ demonized and stigmatized in the wake. Then those decent men and women now are treated as hate mongers, and further entrench in their beliefs and actions against the trans/LGBTQ community. Its basis is the stirring up of hatred for a culture war that doesn’t stop to see its toll on its affected victims.

  10. jerry 2016-12-22 13:12

    I find it interesting that Dale Bartcher states that “Quite frankly, we don’t want to see any initiated measure in 2018, we want to see the Legislature approve it and the governor sign it…. This issue is on the front burner for a lot of South Dakotans” By making that comment, Bartcher cements the fat that if this is on the front burner of South Dakotan’s, then they should make the vote for it or against it. The problem with Dale and his crew of malcontent’s is that they really do not want to hear the will of the people, it is all about them.

  11. Dicta 2016-12-22 13:33

    What to do about people impacted by dysphoria?


    Down is up. World. Keeps. On. Spinning.

  12. Super Sweet 2016-12-22 14:55

    It is a real test of acceptance and tolerance when middle schoolers don’t shower :) Tolerance in that respect declines in high school. :(

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-22 22:21

    Yes, Ror, Republicans are very much for controlling the locals.

    Dicta, how many of these legislators recognize just how much money we get from folks who visit here? How many of them might actually prefer the bunker mentality that mutters disdain for outsiders and would celebrate having South Dakota all to our bigoted selves?

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-22 22:46

    I’m thinking about Jenny’s and Super Sweet’s comments about gym class. Just let me ramble….

    I appreciate PE more now than I did when I was in school. Physical exercise is good for kids’ bodies and minds. A 50-minute break each day or every other day to run, hike, play volleyball, and work up a sweat is good for body and mind. (90-minute-block schedules play havoc with that regular exercise.) PE recognizes the need for complete health. In elementary school, it also gets the kids out of the classroom teachers’ hair for a blessed quite hour when so the teachers can plan and correct papers in peace and quiet.

    PE should be hard enough to make kids sweat—maybe not every day, but often. Really working out usually requires wearing workout clothes. That shouldn’t be a big deal, since Americans nowadays dress like they’re on the way to the gym or a ball game most of the time.

    In my ideal world, kids would come to school, work hard, play hard, and go home smarter and healthier every day. They’d learn to do everything—read, make speeches, study together, eat lunch, change clothes, play ball, shower—without fear, self-consciousness beyond self-respect and self-control, or ill intent toward others. They’d notice differences among themselves, but they wouldn’t freak out about it. They wouldn’t view other people’s differences as threats to their personal self-esteem, and they wouldn’t live in terror of their own differences from others making them outcasts. They’d just get along and get things done.

    That’s a high level of maturity to ask of kids grappling with hormones, new hairy places, algebra, and other mysteries. But some can do it. Apparently, among the kids Jenny knows, a lot can do it.

    But then the purported adults in Pierre blow things to heck by screaming their irrational fears and spotlighting certain different kids who aren’t hurting anyone and who’d really like to not be hurt any more themselves as they try to figure out a truckload of trouble that fate has already dumped on their souls.

    Lower the voting age. Lower the age of eligibility for Legislature. Sixth graders might do a better job at protecting liberty, justice, and opportunity for all than some of the Legislators headed to the 2017 Session.

  15. Gracie 2016-12-23 08:45

    This group lost the same sex issue. To keep viable and the money coming, they are bullying the LGBYQ community.

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