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HB 1215: Randolph Wages War on Gay Marriage, Drag Queens, Dildoes…

…But let’s never get too optimistic about Republican legislators’ respect for basic human rights.

Representative Tony Randolph (R-35/Rapid City) has wadded all of his caucus’s loathing of difference and love of the donor-stirring culture war into one big bill. His House Bill 1215 would prohibit the state from enforcing, endorsing, or favoring policies that do any of the following:

  1. Permit any form of marriage that does not involve a man and a woman
  2. Enemy of diversity and equality Rep. Tony Randolph
    Enemy of diversity, equality, and intelligent bill-writing Rep. Tony Randolph

    Appropriate benefits to persons who enter a marriage other than a marriage involving a man and a woman

  3. Permit counties to issue marriage licenses to persons other than for a marriage involving a man and a woman
  4. Treat sexual orientation as a suspect class or as a basis of prohibited discrimination
  5. Recognize a person’s belief that that person was born a gender that does not accord with the biological sex of the person as determined by that person’s anatomy at birth
  6. Appropriate tax dollars to pay for sex change operations
  7. Ban conversion therapy. Under this subdivision, conversion therapy, means a therapeutic practice in which a licensed medical professional, acting under authorized consent, assists a client in the goal or realigning the client’s sexual preference to prefer members of the opposite sex who have corresponding reproductive anatomy
  8. Permit public libraries or public schools in the state to partner with nonsecular organizations to promote, host, sponsor, favor, or endorse drag queen storytime
  9. Mandate pronoun changes
  10. Condone or affirm homosexual, transgender, zoophilia, objectophilia, polygamy, or sexual orientation doctrines
  11. Permit a person to change the sex on a birth certificate to a sex that does not accord with that person’s anatomy at birth [2020 HB 1215, Section 1, as filed 2020.01.30].

Homophobia, transphobia, RuPaulophobia, dildophobia—it’s all there.

Randolph’s protection of conversion therapy is particularly appalling. Even conservative Utah now recognizes in law trying to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals is dangerous quackery. Only an ignorant bully would propose a statute protecting such unprofessional conduct.

Randolph’s ban on drag queen storytime is simply ridiculous, not to mention stupidly written. HB 1215 says public schools and libraries can’t partner with “nonsecular organizations” for such events. What nonsecular organization would sponsor such an event? As written, Section 1(8) of HB 1215 would appear to have no effect on stopping any drag queen storytime (assuming such events ever happen, and if they do, please send me posters), as long as it isn’t sponsored by a church.

Representative Randolph (and while I so want to prefix his title with “Un-“, the scary thing is, the hate he fumes in this bill does represent a number of people in South Dakota) does offer me one sop with this bill. Section 2 asserts that nothing in his addition to Title 25 on Domestic Relations would affect my “right to practice secular humanism.” Secular humanism involves far more than the morality of sex and gender identity, but Rep. Randolph’s synecdoche is telling: he apparently thinks secular humanism is all about what he views as sexual depravity.

HB 1215 is what we get when Tony Randolph gorges on Fox News and Breitbart and then vomits it all up in steaming, senseless mass.

So far, Rep. Randolph’s barf-cheese stands alone: HB 1215 has no co-sponsors. We can only wish it would that way and die a swift death in committee.


  1. jerry 2020-02-03 09:48

    We have seen to many times that those who protest the loudest are those that practice what they supposedly abhor..

  2. Bob Newland 2020-02-03 09:55

    A new bar height has apparently been set in the SoDak legislature, at a level to which even Jeff Monroe, the guy who fertilizes his garden with ground-up plastic, which he defines as “habitat,” has not yet stooped.

  3. Porter Lansing 2020-02-03 10:24

    noun. OUTRAGE FATIGUE ~ The exhaustion and entropy that occurs from too much outrage. Occurs in waves, often during peak election cycles. Outrage fatigue tends to afflict politically active people, and can be worse when your party is not in power, or has a power deficit. It escalates during environmental catastrophes, especially ones that are caused by human negligence. It also develops during troublesome economic times like corporate bailouts and high unemployment. Outrage fatigue may threaten close friendships.
    e.g. After the week of union protests in Madison, I’m finished. I have serious “outrage fatigue”.
    e.g. When I heard about the latest military intervention in Libya, I was stunned by my apathy,lack of concern and disinterest. This is my worst ever episode of “outrage fatigue”.

  4. o 2020-02-03 10:59

    Porter, so is this suppressing fire/strategy — things to keep all opponents in “outrage fatigue” so the the little things, like election tampering, accelerating income disparity, and denying health care to the sick can slip under the radar?

  5. jerry 2020-02-03 11:06

    Porter, when will the state of Wisconsin take over the abandoned Foxconn buildings and use them for the homeless? Another fatigue of grifting republican governorship. South Dakota take notice, here is another business we could TIF and provide millions to… even for an EB5 scam… Where’s Joop?

  6. Kal Lis 2020-02-03 11:14

    I expected the prohibition against Drag Queen Story hour filed on day one. I’m surprised it took Randolph this long. It was a cause célèbre in the spring of 2019 for a few members of the conservative intelligentsia.

    I did not, however, expect a bill this badly written or formatted. Can legislators submit legislation to LRC for formatting before they file it?

  7. Bob Newland 2020-02-03 11:30

    I suspect the LRC decided that the bill was not worthy of their time, since, even if Tony’s moron friends pass the law, it will be declared null, void, and constitutionally poopy within ten minutes.

  8. o 2020-02-03 11:33

    Bob, does this violate the Second Amendment? That is the ONLY part of the constitution that matters! (sarcasm)

  9. Buckobear 2020-02-03 11:34

    I’m waiting for our next mention in the national press.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-02-03 11:41

    I don’t think I ever used the “ridiculous” in its most literal meaning, worthy of ridicule, until I started writing about South Dakota Republican legislators.

  11. jerry 2020-02-03 11:48

    This bozohead hopes that his coffers will be filled with like minded from here and across the nation. Grifting republicans should be South Dakota’s state motto. Note to Tony, get in touch, if you haven’t already, with EB5 Rounds and the Russian, Thune, for marketing help.

  12. grudznick 2020-02-03 12:10

    Mr. Kallis, I too am shocked that Mr. Randolph, who has usually seemed to me to be a reasonable enough fellow, has submitted such tripe. All the law bills go through the Council of Research for the Legislatures. Do you not remember a few years back when they took some heat for messing with some bills about Astrology? They are only supposed to edit the forms and styles but I wouldn’t be surprised if they slipped this “story hour” business in there on Mr. Randolph without him knowing. Mr. Randolph would never regulate our local library.

  13. Sharon 2020-02-03 12:10

    I don’t see the “dildo” part of the bill. Not that the bill isn’t bad enough …. but…

  14. jerry 2020-02-03 12:15

    He is describing himself, I’m sure.

  15. bearcreekbat 2020-02-03 12:16

    The irony here is a sight to behold!

    The SCOTUS addressed the constitutional “right to marry” in Loving v. Virginia holding that the Constitution prohibits a State from refusing to recognize marriages between an Afro-American and a caucasion. The current anti-gay marriage arguments, which incidentally already have been rejected by the SCOTUS in Obergefell v. Hodges, were essentially identical to the arguments made by the Southern States in the Loving case.

    What more can I say?

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-02-03 12:21

    Sharon, I think we find the anti-dildoism in the clause 10 reference to “objectophilia.” Is that a word?

  17. Porter Lansing 2020-02-03 12:31

    Uncle Tom PornStash also filed House Bill 1158, which would remove irreconcilable differences as a cause for divorce under South Dakota state law.
    – Try your best to make national news Tony but SD has used up it’s column inches of “ridiculous state legislature news” for this cycle. Fred Douche was King Smegma of his Puddle of Piss for a whole day and that “trumps” the rest of you bigots.

  18. Rachel 2020-02-03 12:39

    “As written, Section 1(8) of HB 1215 would appear to have no effect on stopping any drag queen storytime (assuming such events ever happen, and if they do, please send me posters), as long as it isn’t sponsored by a church.”

    Shh!!! Don’t give it away until changes can’t be made.

  19. Bob Newland 2020-02-03 13:04

    “Ridiculous,” in its most literal sense, is a start. However, I am not sure there are pejoratives in English adequate for the antics of the 2020 session.

  20. jerry 2020-02-03 13:09

    Good point bcb, the problem though is that grifters like Tony don’t recognize the Supreme Court for anything that they disagree with. These folks only realize the potential scam involved here and how they can enrich themselves it would seem. I think it’s fantastic that this kind of stupidity is shown nationally as it keeps the state where it has been for the last 40 plus years. Wait until we burn down the Black Hills with the 4th of July fireworks, that ought to nail it for sure.

  21. bearcreekbat 2020-02-03 13:37

    Loving v. Virginia is a lot like Roe v. Wade since, like Roe, Loving is a foundational SCOTUS decision defining Constitutional limitations on State power.

    Just as overruling the Roe decision is necessary to enable a State to exercise abitrary power over personal decisions about family relationships and procreation (i.e., our “right of privacy”) overruling the Loving decision is just as necessary to empower State authority over personal marital choices creating family relationships and procreation.

    For example, Senator Mitch McConnell happens to be married to a woman with Asian biological roots. Repealing Loving would give States the power to outlaw such marriages (perhaps in response to angst created by Trumpist animosity toward China’s economic policies or current health issues).

    Indeed, absent the Loving prinicples, the imaginary danger driving our political xenophobes would also empower State government (or the federal government for that matter) to restrict or even prohibit marriages between Americans and loved ones who happen to be from Hispanic or Muslem countries. And given the current “anchor baby” angst and efforts to restrict citizenship to newborns, the danger is evidently real.

    It seems quite odd for legislators who view themselves as conservatives to seek to extend State power over such private family matters. And one must really wonder how conservatives in nationality or racially mixed marriages might feel about this unfortunate connection.

  22. Robin Friday 2020-02-03 15:54

    I still cannot believe how fast we are speeding backwards. I thought we fought these fights. Is that all gone now? Fight, fight, fight, rinse and repeat? Where are the young people? Why are they not fighting ABUSE of POWER?

  23. Donald Pay 2020-02-03 16:41


    I’ve got several observations on your point. You can be assured that the forces of reaction will fight back against our successes. These reactive forces seem to be always working, because we are always winning. We win something, and they remain on the battlefield of politics, while we go back to normal lives. Winning is a great sleeping aid, it seems.

    I would like to think this is just the death throes of the forces of reaction. They have lost on a lot of social issues over the last 60 years. From civil rights to rights to privacy to recognizing the humanity and rights of gays and transgenders the forces of inclusiveness and tolerance have been winning. Yeah, it has not been easy or quick, but gradually we have won. They are desperate to roll back something. They have lost the battle on minorities and gays, but they think they can kick transgenders down, because all the rights transgenders need haven’t been totally established.

    While we have succeeded on most social issues, they have won in areas involving economics, where they have elevated the rich elite while relentlessly pounding down the poor and middle class. It should not be lost on us that they use social issues and religion to divide people, so that fighting on economic issues can be effective.

    Rep. Randolph’s bill is so extreme that no one except extremists are going to support it. It won’t pass in its current form, but it serves as a rallying point for all the fake grievances of the Christian right. It’s a good way to extract money from the gullible, in other words.

  24. Bill Poppen 2020-02-03 17:38

    When I moved to Tennessee in 1968 I soon became embarrassed by the TN legislation. Now, I am embarrassed by the legislation of my former state, SD. What a change for South Dakota. Meanwhile, Tennessee seems to continue leading the way with ridiculous proposals but with Randolph’s help SD will soon be number one.

  25. Dana P 2020-02-03 18:07

    Can you imagine……when you wake up in the morning and your feet hit the floor, the first thing on your mind ISN’T—

    – failing infrastructure
    – regressive taxation
    – South Dakotans dying because they don’t have affordable and accessible health care
    – Stopping the brain drain
    – Increasing revenue
    – helping SD farmers/ranchers hurt by the trade war
    – decreasing suicide in the state
    – paying our educators what they are worth
    – increasing knowledge of meth addiction and why people become drug addicts

    BUT, the first thing you do want to address is —- ‘the gays’?

  26. Porter Lansing 2020-02-03 18:16

    Rush Limbaugh has advanced stage lung cancer. Bless you, sir. And, solace to those who revere your words and see you as a model for their lives.

  27. CK 2020-02-03 21:25

    Dear God,
    My bf has ED. We could someday be breaking the law. That is HILARIOUS!!

  28. Debbo 2020-02-03 23:11

    The most humiliating thing for someone like Randolph is that the SDGOP gets to USE him as a poster boy to pretend that they are inclusive and to pretend that there is broad racial support for their hateful crapola.

    Randolph is the SDGOP’s Ben Carson. How embarrassing for him and the POC who get lumped in with him.

  29. Porter Lansing 2020-02-04 00:25

    Right, Debbo. Also, Randolph is using the SDGOP to gain legitimacy. He didn’t author and doesn’t believe in this hogwash. He’s just turning the hate to his benefit. It takes a lot of smoke and fog for a black man to become legitimate among a group whose members have never even had a black friend. He’s playing these bigots like the banjo in grudzie’s basement.

  30. Debbo 2020-02-04 01:17

    Here’s a bit of prime information for the ignorant Randolph and his SDGOP pals about “biological sex.” (Hint- It’s not what they think.)

  31. mike from iowa 2020-02-04 08:45

    This is interesting and kinda relevant…

    Very first -paragraph…. The Republican-controlled Senate “brought new meaning to the idea of a do-nothing Congress” in 2019 by not taking a single vote the entire year on legislation to advance social or economic justice in the United States.

    Didn’t stop wingnuts from voting against social and economic justice.

  32. o 2020-02-04 11:49

    Cory, you have the right ideology, “objectophilia” but the wrong object. My reading would require the banning of guns — because of the amosexuals who have fetishized firearms. You know, the ones who use a Cabella’s catalogue as porn.

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-02-04 12:39

    O! I’m intrigued! If we can equate ammosexuality with objectophilia, we could go on a rampage against legislation that “affirms” objectophilia.

    HB 1215 provides no definition of objectophilia. Neither does any existing South Dakota statute. If we take the term to refer to deep emotional and/or romantic attachments to specific inanimate objects or structures, then it’s not hard to see from all those gun-cuddling warriors invading legislatures around the country that gun laws affirm a certain objectophilia and gun restrictions arouse deep emotional defense of the objects threatened with regulation.

    O, you might get me to vote for this bill, just to open the door for future arguments on guns.

  34. Debbo 2020-02-04 14:22

    From Mike’s heartbreaking link:

    “The Democrat-led House has paved the way for the economic and social transformation that our nation so desperately needs,” said [Sister Simone]Campbell. “The House has passed bills that support employment rights, reduce drug prices, protect Dreamers, and secure our democracy. If passed into law, these bills will help create a society that faithfully promotes justice and the dignity of all.”

    “McConnell’s Senate Graveyard is a shocking failure in leadership and an immoral act of partisanship. This obstruction will not be forgotten in the 2020 election.”

    A total failure of decency by Moscow Mitch and the GOP. Total.

  35. MD 2020-02-06 20:35

    It appears that my bashing of the SD legislature should have been tempered.
    It appears that Randolph is not the only one to introduce this legislation.
    From the Kansas legislature in 2019:
    This one is:
    1) Even more rambling
    2) Cosponsored (wtf)

    Maybe SD isn’t as bad as I think, at least there are no cosponsors on this bill.

  36. Robin Friday 2020-02-19 19:51

    Well said, Donald Pay, thank you. Fight, fight, fight, and keep fighting. Gets exhausting. But never uninteresting.

  37. Debbo 2020-02-19 19:55

    GOP never tires of investigating other’s bedroom activities. Poor babies.

  38. Debbo 2020-02-20 20:07

    Yep. Yer boy Guth is a closet case and kuh-ray-zee!

    Most states have one. Minnesota had Bachmann and she made up for several at once. We’re still recuperating.

  39. BJD 2020-02-26 14:36

    Randolph withdrew this bill, apparently early this week since Tim Goodwin mentioned that he thought it was going to be withdrawn at last Saturday’s crackerbarrel in Rapid City. Randolph’s editorial in today’s (Feb. 26th) Rapid City Journal states he plans to rework and reintroduce a similar bill at a later date though. The whole editorial …. well, Phil Jensen and our gone but not forgotten Lyndi DiSanto seem to have a new friend who’s even wackier than they are.

  40. John jh 2022-02-22 20:32

    His wife has a gay brother and sister

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