In January 2020, the South Dakota House and Senate introduced bills to outlaw legal marriage equality, permanently legalize forced conversion therapy, ban changed to legal gender markers and block any passage of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. Along with other bills in the same state, it would erase LGBTQ citizens from public life entirely.
House Bill 1215 would "prohibit" the state from endorsing or enforcing certain policies regarding domestic relations except those between a man and a woman.
The bill was introduced by Rapid City Republican Representative Tony Randolph.
It says the state quote "may not" enforce, endorse or favor policies that permit marriage between anyone other than a man and a woman. It also says the state will not affirm homosexual or transgender orientation doctrines.
It would outlaw marriage equality, permanently legalize conversion therapy, ban changes to legal gender markers and block the passage of LGBTQ non discrimination protections
The house passed a bill that would criminalize trans-affirming medical care, the Senate Bill 88 would require mental health providers to out kids expressing gender dysphoria or gay tendencies to their parents. It’s not just anti-LGBTQ bills. We’ve got anti-abortion bills, anti sex-ed bills, some truly regressive criminal justice bills (the proposed solution to any given problem seems to be “more prison” and lots more.
A few years ago I wrote “Thirty Years A Man” then followed it up with Thirty Years Does A Man Make Revisited. It tells the story of one man who travels down on the road to manhood only to take a journey to find his way home.
Around 2015 I wrote a short story title “Thirty years a man” which talked about coming to terms with my homosexuality after a failed marriage and a stint in the military. I saw how open people were around the world and yet, here in America people like me had to hide in the shadows as second class citizens and couldn’t live amongst my peers. So there began 30 years of protesting, marching, demonstrating, and fighting for equality, recognitions, and acceptance. In 2017 that “I believed” became a reality when I saw up to 400,000 people attending a parade showing support for LGBTQ community. There were families with children, parents, grandparents, policemen, firemen, mayors, members of Congress and the State Senate, and it was a sight to behold. I have never felt so proud as I did that day. But I reminded people to never take it for granted, because there are those who would do anything to wipe us off of this earth.
Last year even in the face of being threatened by our president, the LGBTQ flag was flown in embassies around the world to stand with our brothers and sisters in every country that all men and women were equal, here and all around the world. Ambassadors and leaders of other countries defied the president that was determined to show the world that equality was good for some people but not us. They began passing bills to take away our rights that were affirmed by the Supreme Court. People didn’t take it seriously to begin with, thinking that we had the law on our side, so they didn’t bother to speak up against these new actions against us.
This month, it has begun with different states passing laws to discriminate and reverse everything we have gained to take us back to being second class citizens. They use the religious freedom to discriminate by not allowing us adoptions, marriage equality, re introduced conversion therapy, denying us health care, fire you from you job because of who you are, keep you from housing, employment, marriage, becoming foster parents, even allowing doctors to not treat you in an life threatening emergency. Yes, it’s starting all over again, but a few days ago, the state of South Dakota decided to set on a path to erase us from society and send us into caves to move us back to second class citizens.
Now it’s time for each and everyone of us to stand up and begin the march for freedom and civil liberties. We will not be regulated behind closed doors, basements, and allowing those who discriminate to take us back thirty years ago. If they get their way, they may not like it because they might find out that who they went after could be your mother or father, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, son or daughter, grand child or grand parents. It could be your neighbor, your teacher, you preacher, the mailman, fireman, policeman, lifeguard, or doctor. It could be your lifeguard, congressman or woman, Senator, your dentist or coach, or maybe it could be your mayor, judge, jurors, professional athlete, your care giver, or maybe it could be your president.
How would you feel if this happened to you son or daughter, mother or father, or any other close friend you have known over the years or a family loved one. Would you hide them in your basement knowing that they can’t be free, could lose a job, if you adopt a child, they couldn’t be around to see it. That is not who we are and while the other countries around the world has continued on the path to equality, the United States in on the verge on inequality.
It’s not an us verses them problem, democrat or republican, black or white, liberal or conservative, and it shouldn’t be based on what you believe or not believe, it’s a humanitarian problem and it’s what our founding fathers created when they say everyone is created equal and should have the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. That is what freedom is all about, so please don’t turn your backs on freedom.
Eighty years ago we lost hundreds of thousands of life because they were gay or lesbian over the hatred and fear of who they were, lets not forget their lives so it will never happen again. Hate is a terrible word because once you use the word hate, it begins to fester inside of you until it begins to tear you apart from the inside out.