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Wiik Blocks Resolution Celebrating LGBT South Dakotans for Putting Up with His Party’s Guff

This is the kind of bullying that makes reporters quit covering the Legislature….

Speaking of hating diversity, Senator John Wiik (R-4/Big Stone City) single-handedly blocked consideration of a Senate measure to recognize South Dakota’s LGBT residents for putting up with the crap straight white South Dakotans like Wiik give them daily.

The measure in question, Senate Commemoration 801, came from Senator Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) and three Democratic House colleagues. It reads, in full:

A LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATION, Celebrating the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community in South Dakota.

WHEREAS, in South Dakota, approximately 25,000 adults, or 3.5 percent of the population, identify as LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit. Numerous official Pride Festivals are held annually that shed light on this community’s resilience, ranging from parades and fairs to daily events and educational courses for area businesses and organizations; and

WHEREAS, the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community proudly shows its strength every day by living in truth and combatting uncertainty. The South Dakota Legislature celebrates the many accomplishments and milestones of the state’s LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community while acknowledging the remaining work to be done in the pursuit of true equality for all; and

WHEREAS, the South Dakota Legislature commends leadership from organizations working statewide to educate and create positive change for their fellow South Dakotans. The growth of these local organizations should serve as a beacon of hope for communities nationwide:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT COMMEMORATED, by the Ninety-Seventh Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that the Legislature recognizes the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community for its collective efforts to secure true equality for all [2022 SC 801, filed 2022.01.13].

Joint Rule 6A-1 (and I have to cite the 2021 Joint Rules, because LRC hasn’t posted the 2022 edition yet) says a legislative commemoration “expresses recognition of service or achievements of national or statewide importance or expresses sorrow over death or loss.” A commemoration doesn’t get a vote; the presiding officer simply places it on the agenda for a given day. Per Joint Rules 6H-4 (chamber of origin) and 6H-6 (second chamber), if no member raises an objection that day, the presiding officer deems the commemoration approved. If anyone objects, the presiding officer marked the commemoration disapproved.

Senator Wiik objected, not because he and his God hate fags, but because SC 801 didn’t follow the rules:

Wiik later told KELOLAND News, “It’s not a historically accepted use of the commemoration.”

He said a commemoration usually is to honor someone for a notable achievement, such as a sports team winning a state championship, that has unanimous support.

“Obviously there was some disagreements with the way things were written and I didn’t believe that would be a statement for the entire South Dakota Senate,” Wiik said [Bob Mercer, “S.D. Lawmaker Objects to Commemorating LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit Community,” KELO-TV, 2022.01.14].

The Joint Rules don’t say anything about “historically accepted uses” of commemorations; they just say, recognize service or achievements of national or statewide importance. Last year, Senators brought 25 commemorations, eight of which dealt with sport. The House brought fourteen commemorations, just two for sport. Is any sporting event or athletic achievement really of “statewide importance”?

The 2021 Senate commemorated the Rosebud Sioux tribe and the Indian Health Service “for efficiently allocating and delivering the COVID_19 vaccine.” That’s an actual achievement of significant practical importance to all South Dakotans. However, was that really an expression of unanimous support for vaccines from a Legislature riddled with anti-vaccination radicals?

2022 SC 801 doesn’t identify specific people for specific public policy actions, but then neither did last year’s SC 803, which honored and commended teachers in general for all their hard work amidst the pandemic. Neither did last year’s HC 8002, which recognized South Dakotans in general for their “bravery and sacrifices” in the face of coronavirus.

Whatever standards Senator Wiik claims support his objection, they aren’t written in the Joint Rules. But a lack of written standards didn’t stop Rep. Manny Steele from objecting to a similar 2020 commemoration, HC 8029, that would have acknowledged LGBT South Dakotans in general and five specific organizations and eight towns for their efforts to make South Dakota more inclusive.

These blocked measures are just commemorations. They don’t do anything. They seem hardly worth a Legislative speech or parliamentary maneuver, let alone this much blog space. But that Republicans find even this minor statements worth fussing about reminds us how deeply they object to a diversity of living and loving in South Dakota.


  1. Lottie 2022-01-17

    Well LGBT people have struggled to become recognized and respected. It sounds like some politicians are finding it tough to accept them is the issue.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-01-17

    Pierre is a black hole by design and Wiik’s behavior is meant to drive reporters from covering the legislature or is that lost on readers here. According to WalletHub Pierre is 50th among state capitals in economic well-being because Republicans like it that way.

  3. grudznick 2022-01-17

    This young Mr. Wiik fellow is probably just trying to stop some libbie grandstanding. Did you see that there were no Republicans who support the LBGTQXR standpoints invited to be on the law bill?

    Mr. Wiik, a sensible fellow from the upper north portions, did the right thing by throwing cold water on this libbie-only grandstanding law bill. When Mr. Nesiba stops being so exclusive and grandstanding he will stop getting his arse wiped in the legislatures. Pants or not.

  4. Porter Lansing 2022-01-17

    Senator John Wiik (R-4/Big Stone City) & grudnix = two of South Dakota’s biggest horses asses!!

  5. grudznick 2022-01-17

    Ah, Mr. H is righter than right. SC 801 is not a law bill but instead a grandstanding statement that has no real purpose except to speechify on the floors of the legislatures. Mr. Wiik was right to shut down Mr. Nesiba, and completely within the rules of the debates.

    Props to Mr. Wiik. BAH to Mr. Nesiba. Try again, sir.

    Thank you for pointing out my error, Mr. H.

  6. Donald Pay 2022-01-17

    All of these commemorations could be considered grandstanding of one sort or another, Grudz. Or maybe they are just nice, polite gestures that uplift someone or give someone a little recognition for some good work in the community. I think honoring sports teams, which Wiik seems to think is great purpose for commemorations, is far more in line with grandstanding. I mean, really, some fat-ass politician’s pat on the back ain’t going to matter to the sports’ champions. They got the effing trophy, and lifetime bragging rights. Who cares what some blowhard legislators say?

  7. Mark Anderson 2022-01-18

    Grudz never got over losing high school debates to libbies. Sad.

  8. O 2022-01-18

    grudznick, I am confused, why is recognition of our fellow LGBTQ+ citizens a “libbie” claim? If the chamber were to recognize as a whole, it would be a SD claim. Now it’s rejection seems like a “rightie” stance (but I assume that was the real intent of Mr. Wiik’s move).

  9. grudznick 2022-01-18

    Mr. O, if you read the Commemoration numbered 801 you will see that Mr. Nesiba did not allow a single Republican to join onto his commemorating.

  10. O 2022-01-18

    Mr. grudznick, I admit that I am often slow of wit, but I did go back and reread the 801 text above. I even reread it again. On neither reading did see a section that demanded the exclusion of wise Mr. Nesibia’s legislative colleagues of the GOP persuasion. “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT COMMEMORATED, by the Ninety-Seventh Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that the Legislature recognizes . . . ” seems the model of the very inclusion we would wish to model. In fact, the only way NOT to be included would to act as Mr Wiik did and demand one’s (and therefore the entire legislature’s) exclusion.

    So I again pose the original, unanswered question to you: why is recognition of our fellow LGBTQ+ citizens a “libbie” claim?

  11. grudznick 2022-01-18

    Sponsored exclusively by Messrs. Nesiba, Bordeaux, and Smith along with Misses Healy and Keintz. Not a single conservative was allowed to join in. Probably sour grapes by Mr. Wiik but I’m sure his feelings were hurt by the exclusion. He does well not to show it, though.

  12. O 2022-01-18

    Again, perhaps I don’t understand the process, but in law making, voting FOR a measure is “joining in.” In this case, EVERYONE could join in by choosing to not object.

    Are you sure that no righties were asked/allowed to co-sponsor? Maybe when Mr. Nesibia went to ask his friends in the GOP caucus, they were busy strategizing on the Governors LGBTQ agenda items and too busy to come to the door.

  13. Richard Schriever 2022-01-18

    grudz, no speaking or debating is associated with legislative commemorations.

  14. Donald Pay 2022-01-18

    Grudz, you are well aware that Commemorations don’t require any co-sponsors. One person is all that is needed. Sometimes Commemorations are passed around for co-sponsors, mostly in caucus. Sometimes they are passed around at crackerbarrels. Sometimes it’s just one or two people who introduced them, at the request of a person in the community. Commemorations are not voted on. If no one objects, they are approved by rule without a vote. If one person objects, they are disapproved. This rule was done so that legislative time was not spent on a bunch of rather mundane activity. What Wiik did by objecting amounts to an automatic disapproval of of the entire Legislature. It was an extremely impolite act, and an act befitting of a member of the Nazi Party.

    Most of the time, if a legislator has an objection but don’t want to create a fuss, they just walk out of the chamber. Wiik’s action was an extreme affront, an in-your-face attack, not just to the sponsor, but to the people being commemorated. I can tell you in my time watching the legislature I never saw this happen.

  15. Arlo Blundt 2022-01-18 and I both are well aware that there are plenty of tight pants LBGQ Republicans mincing around Pierre engaging in their own conspiracies. Nobody really cares about what turns their crank but they feel the need for deep anonymity. The Grand Old Party has always been a haven for the closeted.

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