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Legislature in Full Attack on Transgender Kids; Protesters March Saturday in Sioux Falls

If you’re mad about the Republican Legislature’s bullying rampage on transgender South Dakotans, you should head to Nelson Park Saturday afternoon. Students and neighbors there are rallying to protest House Bill 1057, Senate Bill 88, and SB 93.

HB 1057 is Rep. Fred Deutsch’s ban on medical professionals providing certain medical treatment to transgender youth. It has passed the House and awaits attention from Senate Health and Human Services, whose members and contact information are available here.

SB 88 lumps gender dysphoria in with self-injurious behavior as cause for counselors, psychologists, and social workers working for schools to violate their professional obligation of confidentiality toward their clients and notify parents of what their children have talked about in private counseling sessions. SB 88 receives first hearing Tuesday morning, 7:45 CST, before Senate Education, whose members and contact information are available here.

SB 93 weirdly gives parents permission to deny their children any medical treatment, psychiatric care, psychological services, or counseling services that the parent thinks might encourage the children’s sense that they might be transgender. The bill seems an unnecessary vehicle for more paranoid anti-trans chest-thumping—I thought that, as a parent, I could already tell doctors and shrinks to back off from my child for any reason—but sponsor of SB 93 and SB 98 Senator Phil Jensen just can’t get enough of the bullying rampage he thinks his God calls him to wage. SB 93, like HB 1057, goes to Senate Health and Human Services, where Jensen sits awkwardly and uneducably but where a slim majority of other members may be more receptive to reason and decency.

Opponents of these bills, supporters of transgender equality, and other decent folks who’d like creepy legislators to stop playing doctor and leave people alone will get together Saturday, February 1, at 12:30 p.m. at Nelson Park—off 10th Street between Cliff and Fairfax. Friends and neighbors will march west along 10th to Fawick Park. March weather for Sioux Falls: decreasing clouds, 41°F, southwest breeze 5–10 mph.

Someone may wish to bring voter registration forms to the march. Folks upset with the Legislature right now need continue marching right through February, right to the courthouse to pick up petitions to run for office, right through summer and fall to every door in Sioux Falls and Rapid City and Watertown and Florence and the rest of the state to advocate for decent Democratic candidates, and right to the polls with all their friends and even folks they don’t know in tow and vote right down the line to throw bullies like Fred Deutsch and Phil Jensen out.


  1. happy camper 2020-01-31 09:57

    If you believe in science, shouldn’t we consider what scientists have to say? Bret Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying are (liberal) evolutionary biologists who are trying to understand and explain this gender phenomenon. When asked what’s driving it politically he says game theory. Far-left protagonists are using strong rhetoric to gain power and logical people who know it’s ludicrous make the decision it’s better for them to keep quiet (my summation).

    I attended the vote in person cause I wanted to have a better sense if this was being driven by bigotry and ignorance directed at LGBTQ. I didn’t sense that at all but a deep underlying concern and a respect for whatever these kids choose to do when they are adults. There were a couple missteps made on both sides of the issue, but it’s well worth seeing debates in person to compare your reality of the experience to how it is being characterized. On this issue our legislature is well informed and voting their conscience. They should not be demonized.

    If we care about kids should we keep learning more? Weinstein/Heyer have given two interviews which touch on transgender within the scope of sex, gender roles, identity, but tie it back to biology and our evolutionary purpose. They’re a brilliant couple who know a lot more than we do the first is 30 minutes the other 3 hours long a minor commitment if you care about kids and also very, very interesting.

  2. o 2020-01-31 10:28

    happy, if the medical issue were not transgender youth, would you still be comfortable with a legislative body telling parents what treatments their children may or may not have access to in their consultation with doctors? If we were talking measles, or broken collar bones, or depression, would you still give the thumbs up to this level of government intrusion into family and medical realms?

  3. mtr 2020-01-31 10:30

    I’ve seen Legislators ask for Fiscal Notes/Studies on how a bill would affect various things: budget, wallets, etc. Is there a similar Legislative ask/study on how much a pending court battle would cost for the adoption of a bill?

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-01-31 12:08

    Ah, but mtr, they can say with straight faces that there will be no fiscal impact, since they have SPLC-designated hate group Liberty Counsel offering to represent us in court for free. The Legislature should take Liberty Counsel up on that offer, since it’s clear Jason Ravnsborg can’t win a case.

    Nothing like having to bring in out-of-state lawyers to defend our own laws. Someone should run a fiscal note on Jason Ravnsborg’s incompetence.

  5. Dicta 2020-01-31 13:40

    It’s ABOUT THE KIDS says the small government autocrat while telling medical professionals, behavioral health experts and families to get out of the way.

    Irony is dead. Long live irony.

  6. Debbo 2020-01-31 13:59

    This is where these attacks are coming from, Project Blitz. It’s the pseudo Christian’s version of ALEC. Sheila Kennedy has got the goods on them, no paywall.

    “The bills are seemingly unrelated and range widely in content—from requiring public schools to display the national motto, ‘In God We Trust’ (IGWT); to legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ people; to religious exemptions regarding women’s reproductive health. The model bills, the legislative strategy and the talking points reflect the theocratic vision that’s animated a meaningful portion of the Christian Right for some time. In the context of Project Blitz’s 116-page playbook, however, they also reveal a sophisticated level of coordination and strategizing that echoes the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which infamously networks probusiness state legislators, drafts sample legislation, and shares legislative ideas and strategies.”

  7. Robin Friday 2020-01-31 20:01

    And now a bill to prohibit same-sex marriage? What are we, Alabama? Mississippi? Louisiana? I can’t believe how fast the state of SD is speeding backwards. We’ve been through all this. Why does our Republican-swamped legislature want to go backwards?

  8. Robin Friday 2020-01-31 20:33

    And like it or not, it can’t wait until they are adults, though no surgery is done on minors. Surgery comes last after years in a program, if ever.

  9. Robin Friday 2020-01-31 20:35

    Thank you, Debbo, for that Project Blitz post. I couldn’t remember the name.

  10. Debbo 2020-01-31 20:36

    HC, since you’re so happy to flap your big fat lips here, why don’t you go back over to Roger’s obituary and write a sincere, heartfelt apology to his family.

    Your cheap, nasty, 2 bit attack on a wonderful man who had Just Died was sickening! You not only tried to malign a good man’s character when he could no longer defend himself, you brought additional pain to his family.

    That was the slimiest, most despicable thing I’ve ever seen on the pages of DFP. If you have any desire to be regarded as other than slimy and despicable, you’ll get your shameful a$$ to that post. Roger’s family will read it and so will we. It’s the only way you can salvage any shreds of a reputation.

  11. MD 2020-02-01 15:46

    My wife is getting really sick of the “Guess what the South Dakota legislature is proposing” discussion we have every night.
    I don’t think I will ever get her to move from North Dakota to South Dakota.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-02-01 16:04

    MD, I know that feeling. The most common phrase heard after the lead-in, “In South Dakota Legislative News,” is “What now?”

  13. Francis Schaffer 2020-02-02 13:22

    Fred Deutsch, if you read this I am truly sorry for the extermination of many of your ancestors simply because of who they were, what they believed and how they lived; while so many stood by and did nothing.

  14. mike from iowa 2020-02-02 13:42

    Good on you, Debbo. Lash the scurvy dog to a yardarm and give him a Botany Bay dozen with the “Cat.”

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