Fourth Attempt to Rescind Pro-Transgender School Policy on Life Support

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By my count, the good senators and representatives of South Dakota have now made four attempts to rescind the pro-transgender, pro-homosexual policy adopted by the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) last year. The fourth is now on “life support” in a conference committee as a last attempt to remove this harmful policy from our education system.

That policy states:

basketballTRANSGENDER POLICY
Philosophy of Gender Identity Participation:
The SDHSAA allows participation for all students regardless of their gender identity or expression. The purpose of this policy is to designate a set of criteria in which student-athletes are able to compete on a level playing field in a safe, competitive and friendly environment, free of discrimination.

Gender Identity Participation

All students should have the opportunity to participate in SDHSAA activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records. Should any questions arise whether a student’s request to participate in a sex-segregated activity consistent with his or her gender identity is bona fide, a student may seek review of his or her eligibility for participation by working through the procedure set forth below:

Once a student has been granted eligibility to participate in the sport consistent with his/her gender identity, the eligibility is granted for the duration of the student’s participation and does not need to be renewed every sports season or school year.

Definitions:
For the purposes of this policy, the following definition applies:
1. Transgender Person: a person whose gender identity does not match the sex assigned to him or her at birth.
2. Gender Identity: a person’s deeply-felt internal sense of one’s own gender.
3. Gender Expression: a person’s external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine (dress, speech, mannerisms, social interactions, etc.)

Mark Chase, President of the South Dakota Family Policy Council, provided this update yesterday on the smokeout of HB 1195:

was successfully “Smoked Out” on the senate floor on a vote of 18-17 on Monday afternoon and sent back to the Senate Education Committee to receive a recommendation.

The Senate Ed Committee convened and voted 5-2 to send HB 1195 to the senate floor with a “Do NOT Pass” recommendation. As a result, it needed 18 votes, or a majority of the senators to vote “yes” just to get it on the debate calendar. That vote was taken yesterday morning, and unfortunately, it failed to get a majority vote (16-18), and thus it was not placed on the debate calendar.

However, while HB 1195 was failing to receive enough votes to get it on the debate calendar on the senate side, there was maneuvering going on over in the House to keep it alive. Rep. Brian Gosch from Rapid City, and House Majority Leader, “Hoghoused” HB 1195 and attached it to SB 140, a Vehicle Bill (SB 140 Before the Hoghouse; http://legis.sd.gov/docs/legsession/2015/Bills/SB140P.pdf; SB 140 After the Hoghouse: http://legis.sd.gov/docs/legsession/2015/Bills/SB140H.pdf), that has already made its way through a senate committee, the senate floor, a house committee and was now on the house floor. Here is an article from the Rapid City Journal about everything that took place yesterday http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/bill-on-transgender-athletes-rises-from-the-dead/article_14e19b01-6cac-58bb-a1fa-e95a788fe16c.html.

Rep. Gosch’s “Hoghouse” of HB 1195 was successful! The House, for a second time, voted to pass HB 1195

Unfortunately, there were 16 senators FOR SB 140, and 18 AGAINST rescinding this pro-transgender, pro-homosexual policy in our“Republican” supermajority legislature.

According to Mark Chase, President of the South Dakota Family Policy Council:

Unfortunately, the senate voted 18-16 “to NOT concur” the House Hoghouse version of SB 140 this afternoon, so the bill is now “officially” on life support.  It is being sent to a conference committee consisting of three senators and three representatives in order to “work out the differences” in the bill.  In this case, the Senate has voted twice to kill the bill and the House has voted twice to pass the bill. The two sides could not be any further apart!

The three senators chosen for this conference committee consist of Sen. White, Sen. Heinert, and Sen. Jensen.  Sen. Jensen is the only one of the three to have voted for this bill.  In fact, he is the only one of the three in support of it.  Sadly, this group of three, minus Sen. Jensen, were chosen to kill this bill.  And as of the writing of this email, I do not know which three representatives have been chosen.  It is my guess that two of them will be in favor of the bill and the other will be opposed to it.

Those good senators who voted in favor of SB 150 were:

Cammack; Ewing; Greenfield (Brock); Haggar (Jenna); Heineman (Phyllis); Holien; Jensen (Phil); Lederman; Monroe; Novstrup (David); Olson; Omdahl; Otten (Ernie); Peterson (Jim); Rampelberg; Van Gerpen

Those liberals of both parties who voted against SB 140 were:

Bradford; Brown; Buhl O’Donnell; Frerichs; Haverly; Heinert; Hunhoff (Bernie); Parsley; Peters; Rave; Rusch; Soholt; Solano; Sutton; Tidemann; Tieszen; Vehle; White

Note that the names in bold “NO” votes were “Republicans.”

You can contact Senate conference committee members White (a “Republican” and Heinert (a Democrat), and ask them to support the bill and not alter it. Be nice (nicer than they deserve after their previous vote); at this point, a nasty-gram is just going to make them dig their heels in more in defiance, but being polite and factual just might make an impression even on a hard heart.

In the event you might find it helpful, this is an email I sent to all South Dakota senators a few days ago when I asked them to support HB 1195.  Note that I reiterated facts that came out in the hearings for HB 1195 and HB 1161, a similar bill.

Dear Senator:

Please vote “YES” on HB 1195 when it is considered in the full Senate.

As Rep. Jim Bolin pointed out, the SDHSAA transgender policy allows an individual to declare as invalid official state information (i.e. birth certificate information about the individual), and sets a standard of being selective in what birth certificate information it will accept as valid (e.g. a birth date), and what information it will accept as invalid (i.e. the sex of the individual).

Also, as Rep. Steven Haugaard said of a similar bill (HB 1161), the SDHSAA policy is anchored to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).  Haugaard  stated this pro-homosexual group has stated in their standards of care that they are committed to changes in public policies and legal reforms and to ensure favorable social and political climates for their agenda. Haugaard also pointed out that their standards state “Mental health professionals should not impose a binary view of gender” and “hormonal or surgical interventions are appropriate for some adolescents.” The standards also state that if parents do not support their child’s rejection of their sex, then it is the parents who need counseling. WPATH also “urges health insurance companies and other third-party payers to cover the medically necessary treatments” (i.e. surgery and/or hormones) to mutilate the confused person’s body.”

As it is easy to see, this is a radical agenda that attempts to legitimize, normalize and condone a dangerous and healthy confusion and disorientation in some young people. Instead of affirming this profound dysfunction, responsible government agencies (i.e. the school system) should be assisting them in coming to terms with who they obviously (physically, biologically, scientifically) are.

Please, vote in favor of HB 1195.

Thank you for your consideration.

Bob Ellis
Rapid City


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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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