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Nelson: Temper LGBT Political Bullying by Electing Gay Man to Legislature

It’s easy for South Dakota legislators to bully LGBT South Dakotans with discriminatory legislation as a ploy to fire up their right-wing base when there are no LGBT legislators. The Hill notes that Kameron Nelson, Democratic candidate for District 10 House, wants to change that, so the discussion about LGBT policy isn’t about them but us:

In [Alaska and] three other states – Louisiana, Mississippi and South Dakota – LGBTQ+ representation is missing from the state legislature. This year alone, lawmakers in each of those states introduced no less than three bills that would restrict how LGBTQ+ people access health care, play sports or talk about their identity at school or the workplace, according to Freedom for All Americans, which tracks such legislation.

Some of those bills, including measures in Louisiana and South Dakota barring transgender women and girls from playing on female sports teams, have already become law.

“Unfortunately, that’s not going to change until we have representation,” Kameron Nelson, an openly gay man running for a seat in the South Dakota House, told Changing America.

Nelson, 32, a Democrat and South Dakota native, said conservative elected officials in the state have for years been embracing anti-LGBTQ+ policies as a way to ignite their base.

“When you just reduce people to a talking point, then you completely do a disservice to them as a human being,” he said. “These are real folks who are really hurting” [Brooke Migdon, “In Four States, LGBTQ+ Representation Is Missing from the Legislature. That Could Change Come November,” The Hill, 2022.09.02].

Inclusivity suffuses the three main points of Nelson’s vision for the state. Under “Purpose”, Nelson speaks of his commitment to democracy, which means “every resident feels empowered to be an active, engaged, and valued citizen….” Under “Opportunity”, Nelson refers to good wages, healthcare, and education “for all South Dakotans.” Under “Belonging”, Nelson vows to “protect South Dakotans from all forms of discrimination” and make South Dakota a place where our youth”—not just the ones playing cowboy with Kristi Noem, not just the ones bullying the kids who are different, but all of the youth—”will choose to build their lives for generations to come.”

Democracy depends on having Representatives who represent all South Dakotans. Sending Kameron Nelson to the Legislature for District 10 is a step toward that more perfect representation.


  1. P. Aitch 2022-09-12 08:42

    Your state government condones and codifies a lot of bullying. FIX IT!

  2. Mary Perpich 2022-09-12 11:47

    Cole Sartell is a gay candidate running for SD House in District 7. Like Nelson he is young and has a passion for bringing fairness for all to Pierre. Check him out on Facebook Cole Sartell for SD District 7.

  3. Charlie Hoffman 2022-09-13 06:41

    Girls having boys beat the crap out of them on the playing field, the court or in the water do exactly this to them: “ “When you just reduce people to a talking point, then you completely do a disservice to them as a human being,”

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-13 06:49

    Hey, good morning, Charlie, and, not the point, is it? As you Republicans lose the culture war, you seem to think you can still salvage some votes by pretending you are protecting little girls from mean boys in basketball drag. You want to hang that contrived issue around Nelson’s neck and not talk about the broader issues of inclusivity and representation.

    Girls don’t need your protection. You’re looking for an excuse to be a bully, and you’re looking for an excuse to marginalize people like Nelson whose views differ from yours and those of your dwindling base. The Legislature needs more guys like Nelson, more citizens of the 21st century, more people who believe liberty is the birthright of everybody, not just white Christian heterosexual men.

    But sure, keep micromanaging eligibility for local kiddie sports. That’s really Republican of you.

  5. larry kurtz 2022-09-13 07:31

    The ag chemicals killing South Dakota waterways cause the instances of gender dysphoria Republicans like Mr. Hoffman condemn but since no Democrat is safe in home state why any even run for the hate filled legislature remains a mystery.

  6. All Mammal 2022-09-13 08:30

    Strong women and the LGBTQ community make a beautiful combination in government. Throw in some straight men with a heart and ideas and we have us an outright revolution. The lack of heterosexual republican white males in the top dog seat is, I am convinced more and more, a matter of living or dying for the denizens of the good earth. Earth herself cannot put up with much more republican white god-fearing men, or gender-traitor, earth-hater Kristi Noembs. We have got to get to the polls and be the Americans we are meant to be. Proud. I want to live in a state where everyone feels Pride. The original Rainbow Coalition needs a revival.

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