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California Bans State Employee Travel to South Dakota over Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill

San Francisco decided in March to stop spending tax dollars on city employee travel to South Dakota in response to our anti-LGBT discriminatory adoption law (Senate Bill 149, which goes into effect next Saturday).

Now California follows suit, adding South Dakota, Alabama, Kentucky, and Texas to a list of anti-equality states to which state-funded and state-sponsored travel is now illegal:

“Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st century. I am announcing today that I am adding four states to the list of states where California-funded or sponsored travel will be restricted on account of the discriminatory nature of laws enacted by those states,” said Attorney General Becerra. “While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it” [California Office of the Attorney General, press release, 2017.06.22].

We join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee on California’s no-visit list.

The travel ban includes California’s public universities, which means that UC Irvine—or at least the coaches who are state employees—will not be able to return to Sioux Falls to play basketball this year. If any California teams scheduled games in South Dakota or other ban states before California’s anti-discrimination law was enacted on January 1, 2017, those teams may still travel and play, but scheduling future meetings now is out.


  1. Jenny 2017-06-23

    Did God tell them to vote yes on discrimination?

  2. Porter Lansing 2017-06-23

    South Dakota Is A Hate State … There, I said it and it’s as true as snow is white. Friday Night Miranda Gohn trying to appease her darling haters at DWC is one for the record books. It’s her issue being choked to death this time and she’s dancing around the issue like a big loveable teddy bear.

  3. grudznick 2017-06-23

    This good news, isn’t it?

  4. Donald Pay 2017-06-23

    Fifty years since the Summer of Love we have South Dakota leading us into the Summer of Hate. The Summer of Love was a spontaneous flowering of hippy culture led mostly by young people. The Summer of Hate is being led by the fossilized South Dakota Republican Party, and involves a flowering of fascist hate against sexual and ethnic minorities. Thanks to Californians, who have decided to STAY AWAY FROM HATE.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-23

    Governor Daugaard tries to portray it as non-news:

    “These government ‘travel bans’ are political statements that have no discernible effect,” Daugaard said Friday. “They are designed to generate publicity”[KSFY, 2017.06.23].

    So generating publicity has “no discernible effect”? I wonder if Jim Hagen and Tourism SD share that opinion… and if so, can we stop giving Lawrence & Schiller million-dollar contracts to generate publicity?

  6. grudznick 2017-06-23

    For every Californian who chooses not to come here (good), there’s another fellow out there who doesn’t like Californians who does choose to come here (maybe not great, but better than the original Californian coming here.)

    Better if they all just stayed away.

  7. Porter Lansing 2017-06-23

    I can personally tell the good Governor that his statement is factually incorrect. During a period of Republican majority, Colorado passed a gay hate law or two and was boycotted. Being a hate state drastically reduced tourism (our number one industry) until the laws were repealed.
    As an aside, myself and hundreds of thousands of Hispanic supporters have been boycotting Arizona for several years over the way New Americans are treated. When I go to AZ for spring training baseball, I’ll only stay and only spend money at Talking Stick , owned by Indians so no money goes to Arizona’s racist regime.

  8. buckobear 2017-06-23

    That’s right !!! They’ll stay home or go to (shudder) Montana — unless, of course they’re reporters who don’t want to get beat up (or go to see one get beaten). Or maybe North Dakota, so they can see all the way to Minnesota.
    Our tourism dependent state can afford as little loss as possible. tRump isn’t helping with his xenophobic rants – tourists have to come to the US before they can come to South Dakota.
    Hint grudz — Californians live in a successful state. They have the disposable income to take a trip — the citizens of Trumpistan don’t, but they’ll soon be dying anyway.

  9. Porter Lansing 2017-06-23

    Ya’ gotta love the GrudzNick Chamber of Commerce. It’s very similar to the opinions on Power’s Place. They call bigotry, Midwestern Values and Troy is right there, calling gay bashing, Catholic teaching. He needs a call from the Pope and a month off to reset his life. I believe it’s his adoption service that’s the reason for the boycott.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-23

    Grudz, let’s get clear: the ban itself is not about tourism. The ban itself is about official travel by California state employees. So in that regard, the ban cannot trigger any sort of trade-off like you propose. Some other state won’t increase its employees’ official trips to South Dakota just because California makes fewer trips. In that regard, we get less interaction with and business from officials from other states. SDSU and USD have fewer schools whom they can invite to play ball and entertain alumni. Our universities have fewer opportunities to host conferences that would attract top academic talent from California. There is no upside to this ban in either its direct effects or the effect of its ancillary publicity on the general public.

  11. grudznick 2017-06-23

    Some people who are tourists might increase their trips here for vacation just because California won’t let its employees visit.

    You hate sports, Mr. H. The fewer jocks and jock events should make you gleeful.
    I see upside.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-23

    But hey, Sen. Jim Stalzer (R-11/Sioux Falls) tells KELO-TV that California will come crying when they have to forfeit playoff games in South Dakota. Sen. Stalzer says South Dakota should respond in kind and ban its state employees from traveling to California. Sure, Jim, you do that. You tell our SDSU and USD scouts they can no longer go looking for players in California.

    Consider this angle. How many professors will back away from taking a job at a California public university because the state won’t reimburse them for professional travel to South Dakota, and how many would back away from taking a job at a South Dakota public university because the state won’t reimburse them for professional travel to California?

  13. grudznick 2017-06-23

    Good luck to those UC Irivine fellows who want to come here and go into our underground laboratories. More research work and paper writing and accolades for our own School of Mines professors.

  14. MC 2017-06-23

    I’m throwing a flag on the play!

    The bill in question is not an Anti-LGBTQF Adoption Bill. The bill protects religious organizations from being harassed by same sex or other types of couples looking to adopt.

    It doesn’t stop adoptions, in fact if any of these couples present themselves to Catholic family Services to adopt a child, they will be referred to another agency that will better serve them.

  15. Jenny 2017-06-23

    No, grudz, actually I believe it will do the opposite. Minneapolis is one of the cities that has the highest percentage of gays in the US and DFLers staunchly support LGBT rights so I wouldn’t be surprised if these people start a ban on SD trips.
    It’s the money that SD tourism could possibly lose that will effect the state budget. Stupid, just insanely stupid to pass this bill. I could call MPR or the Star Tribune and get the message out. You want me to, Pubs?

  16. Porter Lansing 2017-06-23

    MC, you don’t have a “fairness flag” with any validity. Your law doesn’t protect Catholic adoption agencies from harassment. It attempts to protect them from being sued and the law is unconstitutional, should a group care to bring suit.

  17. Jenny 2017-06-23

    These mean bills negatively effect poor children the most. There are many gay couples that make great parents and are in committed relationships. I know, I’ve met them here. Then the money that the state will lose will effect children and elderly the most, our most vulnerable. Less money for public schools, cuts in healthcare. It’s not good.

    Religious bill should stay out of government.

  18. grudznick 2017-06-23

    Ms. Jenny, I would really appreciate it if the Minnesotians stayed home and did not come to the Black Hills of South Dakota. More space for us.

  19. Jenny 2017-06-23

    Pubs really screwed over mom and pop tourist traps, this will effect their pockets also.

  20. Porter Lansing 2017-06-23

    SoDak legislators have a long history of protecting Catholic wrongdoing and crime. Remember the law that stopped Indians from suing the diocese for child molestation by Priests that had already been removed from other parents ? If the Indians who were molested as children were over 40 they couldn’t sue. Read it here ….

  21. Roger Cornelius 2017-06-23

    Californians thank you for your full support of the South Dakota travel ban, keep up the good work.

  22. Jenny 2017-06-23

    Of all the problems that the state has – corruption, budget problems, SD legislators have to make a hate bill against gay couples, single people and people that have premarital sex possibly stopping by a ‘religious’ adoption agency to ask about adoption???????? What is wrong with you people?
    Millions of children would love to be able to live in a home with people that will love and take care of them! They could care less if it is a gay couple that want to adopt them!!
    These kind of hate agencies should not get state money but they do.
    If they’re so afraid a gay person is going to sue then maybe that is a message from Jesus that you should not discriminate. Love One Another.

  23. Jenny 2017-06-23

    Thank you Billie Sutton and Troy Heinert for voting against such foolishness.

  24. mike from iowa 2017-06-23

    MC- with the newest iteration of Drumpf Don’t Care Taxcuts for the Wealthy just eliminate the middle men in adoptions and turn the kids over to the undertaker. They’ll be dead from malnutrition or lack of healthcare pretty pronto. Compliments of the fauxkneeist so called kristians ever to disgrace the face of the Earth.

    You and yours own this.

  25. OldSarg 2017-06-24

    “The state may not discriminate or take any adverse action against a child-placement agency or an organization seeking to become a child-placement agency on the basis, wholly or partly, that the child-placement agency has declined or will decline to provide any service that conflicts with, or provide any service under circumstances that conflict with the agency’s written sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction of the child-placement agency.”

    It might be smart to actually read the bill before declaring it discriminatory. . . If anything it appears to be the opposite:

  26. Porter Lansing 2017-06-24

    This law flies in the face of the basic American principles of fairness, justice and equality and will not protect anyone’s religious liberty. Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs, but this does not give us the right to use our religion to discriminate against and impose those beliefs on others who do not share them. While we’re all entitled to our own religious beliefs, licensed adoption providers should adhere to professional standards and not use their religion to discriminate against clients who come to them for help.

  27. jerry 2017-06-24

    One of OldSarge’s idols, Jeff Sessions even recognizes South Dakota still lives in the era of outdoor sanitation in the privy. When you loose the old reb South Dakota, you are hopeless.

    South Dakota needs a new direction in how we treat our fellow citizens, all of them. Start by putting in a governor like Billie Sutton. Then make the legislature a body we all can be proud of in its fairness and lack of corruption to get the job done of serving us all.

  28. Donal 2017-06-24

    The typical South Dakotan reflects the thinking of the racist, homophobic, uneducated, “Old Ways” thinking. The evangelical and mainstream preachers who spew this garbage in to the ears of these neoandertals and send them to the voting booths to elect their own kind. The people of South Dakota consistently vote AGAINST their own best interests. I do not understand why they allow this to happen. When any given issue is explained and then shown to be the truth, they still vote against themselves. It is maddening to continuously experience this every 4 years. So yet another stupid decision has been put in to motion and once again we are brought to suffer for those too stupid or stubborn to look around to see that others have it so much better and make the correct decisions.

  29. Jenny 2017-06-24

    Old Sarg, religious adoption agencies should not be receiving govt money in the first place. They need to follow the First Amendment of the Constitution of Separation of Church and State and so this will likely be another Supreme Court case.

    Would all you SD Pubs be okay with Muslim adoption agencies receiving govt money?

  30. MC 2017-06-24

    Jenny, I am going to answer your second statement first. As a legislator, I would have no problem with Muslim adoption agencies, or even agencies that cater to the LGBTQF community exclusively. If they wanted to turn away traditional husband and wife couples. again I would not have a problem with that.

    It is my understanding that Catholic Family Services, Lutheran Social Services, and few others do not accept public money for adoptions. They do take public money for other purposes.

  31. Tim 2017-06-24

    MC, you are so full of s— your eyes are brown.

    “I am going to answer your second statement first. As a legislator, I would have no problem with Muslim adoption agencies, or even agencies that cater to the LGBTQF community exclusively. If they wanted to turn away traditional husband and wife couples. again I would not have a problem with that.”

  32. OldSarg 2017-06-24


    There is no “Separation of Church and State” in the Constitution. It just isn’t there at all. Never has been. Nope, nada, doesn’t exist. . .

    SB149 also doesn’t provide adoption agencies with money. It’s not in the law. Not a dime, nickel or penny. . .

    The purpose of the law is not to hurt LGBTQF or anyone else who identifies by their sexuality. It simple provides religious freedom to organizations that work to place children in what they perceive as safe moral homes. The only people I could imagine being against this bill would be those who want to endanger children and at a time when they are in the greatest need for love and caring.

  33. Porter Lansing 2017-06-24

    Hey Sarge!! Over here, buddy. What part of , “It’s against the law to claim religious freedom to deny service to anyone.” is getting past you? Just because a SoDak law was enacted doesn’t mean it’s valid, lawful or constitutional and it will be ruled as such, sooner or later. Justice moves slowly but it never stops.

  34. Porter Lansing 2017-06-24

    But, enough about the Supreme Court and trying to predict it. This blog post is about the Hate State label and the boycott. We’ll see if it hurts SoDak. We already know that business doesn’t see the state as a viable place to relocate and create jobs. We already know that the tolerant millennials don’t see the state as a viable place to raise a family. We know from example that states with no safety net are undesirable. That makes the boycott, in the short term mostly about tourists and hunters.

  35. mike from iowa 2017-06-24

    OldSarg- the word guns and/or god is not in the constitution. Just isn’t in there at all. Never has been. Nope, nada doesn’t exist.

  36. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-24

    OldSarg, a sure way to grind my gears is to accuse me of not reading something that I have read thoroughly. The passage you cite, from Section 4 of SB 149, is exactly the passage I cited in the broader pro-religious-discrimination bill that Rep. Rev. Scott Craig floated in 2016.

    Say what you want about my arguments. But don’t falsely accuse me of arguing from ignorance. I know full well what the law says, and it says adoption agencies may cloak their discrimination against gays, atheists, Jews, Muslims, liberal Lutherans, single moms, fornicators, and anyone else they don’t like in state-protected “free exercise of religious beliefs.” It’s the Christian brand of Sharia that these same people fear Muslims would impose if they fielded an electoral majority.

  37. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-24

    Pick your flag up, MC. People coming to adoption agencies aren’t coming to harass Christians; they are coming to adopt children. In South Dakota, we have no non-Christian adoption agencies. Your SB 149 allows every adoption agency to oppress gays, atheists, liberal Lutherans, single moms, working moms, and folks who don’t go to church or tithe enough by denying them the opportunity to adopt little-bitty babies.

  38. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-24

    Notice OldSarg’s false flag: if you oppose this bill, you must want to endanger children. Wow—how irresponsible and vile an attack.

    Let’s be clear: the heart of this bill is a belief that LGBT couples endanger kids and that good Christians should prevent LGBT parents from having children. South Dakota deserves California’s criticism for codifying this discrimination.

  39. Porter Lansing 2017-06-24

    An LATimes editorial said that, not the LATimes and they said it about transgender bathrooms not adoption. It also said that if deeply red states send their employees to CA they’ll learn that respecting gay peoples rights doesn’t hurt any state.

  40. bearcreekbat 2017-06-24

    FYI, here are the apparent requirements for adoptive parent applicants. If a religious organization wishes to waive one or more of these requirements, or add some additional requirements, then this new law means they can do just that?

    67:14:32:08. General qualifications for adoptive applicants. The general qualifications for an adoptive applicant are as follows:

    (1) The applicant is at least 21 years of age and resides in South Dakota. Verification of age is required;

    (2) No member of the applicant’s household ten years of age or older, other than a child placed in the home for foster care, has on record a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect;

    (3) No member of the applicant’s household has had a conviction for any of the crimes specified in § 67:14:32:05.05;

    (4) The applicant is capable of providing good care for children;

    (5) The applicant has income to meet the needs of the applicant’s existing family and to support, care, and educate an adopted child;

    (6) The applicant’s children, if any, are willing to accept an adopted child as a member of the family;

    (7) The applicant’s family composition, needs, and relationships may not adversely affect an adopted child; and

    (8) The applicant has the ability to parent a child, which includes a basic understanding of the child’s physical and mental or emotional development and the ability to fulfill the child’s needs. An applicant must have the ability to offer continuing care and guidance to a child throughout the stages of the child’s development in a manner consistent with the social and cultural heritage norms of the child. The applicant must be able to continue meeting the needs of the applicant’s own children, if any. The applicant must display the capacity to provide good care for children.

    The department may require a psychological evaluation and the submission of medical records if questions arise during the application process regarding the applicant’s emotional stability or the emotional stability of another household member.

  41. Don Coyote 2017-06-24

    @PorterLansing: “An LATimes editorial said that, not the LATimes and they said it about transgender bathrooms not adoption. It also said that if deeply red states send their employees to CA they’ll learn that respecting gay peoples rights doesn’t hurt any state.”

    Hmmmmm. This wasn’t just any run of the mill op-ed. This was by the LA Times Editorial Board and if the LA Times Editorial Board doesn’t speak for the LA Times then nobody does. And according to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the ban just doesn’t apply to the transgender bathroom issue since he just announced that the ban now extends to eight states including Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas. Three of the four newly banned states by California have laws that pertain to adoption and one protects religious expression in schools.

    Alabama: Allows state-funded, faith-based adoption and foster agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
    Kentucky: Protects religious expression in schools and makes it harder for school officials to regulate how student organizations select their members.
    South Dakota: Allows legal protection to adoption and foster agencies who refuse to place children in homes with same-sex couples.
    Texas: Allows faith-based foster and adoption agencies, including those that are state-funded, to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

  42. Porter Lansing 2017-06-24

    Don’t see much validity in an opinion about a long term project on the second day of it’s implementation. Boycotts by GLBT have been vital to the process of the movement.

  43. Jenny 2017-06-24

    Old Sarg, that is what Thomas Jefferson specifically said in a letter how that Clause was supposed to be interpreted.
    So technically you’re correct, but when one of the Founding Fathers specifically writes how that Clause is supposed to be interpreted then maybe we should think twice about passing these kinds of laws.
    Discrimination should trump religious rights.

  44. Jenny 2017-06-24

    What a bunch of crap, Sarg. Gay couples are not any more likely to abuse kids than straight couples. I know many Christians that are jerks to their kids. You know the ones that drink and yell all the time, treat the wife and kids bad. Just cut the crap about gays being pedophiles.
    Children don’t care about having two dads or two moms!!!! They just want a stable loving home and not a life of going through foster home to foster home!

  45. Porter Lansing 2017-06-24

    Hear, hear Ms. Jenny

  46. grudznick 2017-06-24

    See you at Talleys in the morn, Mr. C. Thank goodness there will be fewer Californians with their usual libbie condescension to get in the way of me gravy taters and your eggs Benedict.

  47. Jenny 2017-06-24

    I thought you were an LGBT supporter, Grudz.

  48. Jenny 2017-06-24

    MC, as a legislator you say you would support Muslim and LGBT adoption agencies. that’s good! But I think a lot of the legislators would be against such agencies because there is a fear fest going on in the country now towards Muslims and with the LGBT agencies, it would go against their misguided religous belief that LGBTs are bad.

  49. mike from iowa 2017-06-25

    I don’t recall any of this action when the kiddie diddlers were running rampant throughout the Catholic religion.

    Wingnuts have way too much time on their hands when they come up with this type of caca del toro.

  50. OldSarg 2017-06-25

    Jenny: Here’s your study;

    Cory: there was no vile attack against you are anyone else. I do find it a bit incredible that you defend anything that is different than our civilizations moral norms. Just being a rebel?

  51. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-25

    Thanks for sharing those general qualifications, Bearcreekbat! I don’t think SB 149 allows religious adoption agencies to waive any of those requirements. SB 149 speaks only of declining services to certain kinds of sinners, not providing services to people whom existing state rules would currently disqualify. SB 149 does not allow religious adoption agencies to place children with child abusers or recent felons; it allows those agencies to refuse men who love men, single women who work in an office, and married couples who sleep in on Sunday but meet all of the statutory qualifications.

    Claiming that making it legal to discriminate against LGBT/atheist willing parents is really just an effort to protect religious liberty is as big a lie as claiming that hosting anti-Muslim hate speech is really just an effort to educate Americans about the threat of terrorism.

  52. Porter Lansing 2017-06-25

    OldSarge … It’s good that you learned how to use a computer but now take some time and learn how to investigate what you’re told by fake Catholic phonies. SSRN will publish anything without validation or peer review and Donald Paul Sullins is the king of fake news. In short, “You’ve been duped.” GOOGLE his name and choose among the several articles disclaiming the validity of his research on same sex parents. Here’s one of many.

  53. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-25

    OldSarg, I know vile. Instead of addressing the issue, you accuse your opponents of endangering children. Vile.

    And now you further exaggerate away from the issue, saying that I defend “anything” that differs from out civilization’s “norms”. I do not defend human sacrifice, slavery, or second-class citizenship for women. Your statement is thus false. Stick with the issue at hand instead of trying to explode my issues into some strawman generality.

    What I’m saying specifically here is that allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against willing parents who satisfy the state’s qualifications to adopt (which, listed by Bearcreekbat, satisfy quite a few healthy civilizational norms) based on those agencies’ professed religious beliefs is bad policy that sets a precedent for Muslims to violate the First Amendment and impose their brand of Sharia should they ever gain an electoral majority. If you’re afraid of Sharia upsetting our norms, then you need to be afraid of SB 149. California is right to chide us for our discriminatory behavior.

  54. Robin Friday 2017-06-27

    Yes, ol Sarg, separation of church and state IS in the constitution, and in the letters and writings of the framers of the constitution. Granted, the actual words “wall of separation” are not in the first amendment, but that principle is there in the establishment clause, and it’s been upheld as exactly that for more than a century by Supreme Court decision down through the years. And it’s also in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Ben Franklin. WALL OF SEPARATION is exactly what they meant and they said so in those very words.

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