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SD Bills Part of National Religious Right Push for Anti-Gay Discrimination

The spate of anti-gay, pro-discrimination bills that has worn out the South Dakota legislature did not come from ALEC. Instead, these legal travesties appear to be coming from a network of desperate right-wing Christian groups who are trying to get state legislatures to turn back the clock to Jim Crow days. Dana Liebelson of Mother Jones finds a trail of "Religious Freedom Restoration Acts" and other gay-panic masquerades in Kansas, Idaho, Oregon, Tennessee, Arizona, Ohio, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Mississippi:

Republicans lawmakers and a network of conservative religious groups has been pushing similar bills in other states, essentially forging a national campaign that, critics say, would legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Republicans in Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee recently introduced provisions that mimic the Kansas legislation. And Arizona,Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have introduced broader "religious freedom" bills with a unique provision that would also allow people to deny services or employment to LGBT Americans, legal experts say.

"This is a concerted campaign that the religious Right has been hinting at for a couple of years now," says Evan Hurst, associate director of Truth Wins Out, a Chicago-based nonprofit that promotes gay rights. "The fact that they're doing it Jim Crow-style is remarkable, considering the fact that one would think the GOP would like to be electable among people under 50 sometime in the near future" [Dana Liebelson, "Inside the Conservative Campaign to Launch 'Jim Crow-Style' Bills Against Gay Americans," Mother Jones, 2014.02.20].

When the Republican Party talked about rebranding itself for the youth, the Christian Right must have thought they meant Hitler youth. Go down swinging, fundagelical Republicans. We liberals look forward to winning majorities in the next dozen elections.


  1. PrairieLady 2014.02.21

    Glad you posted this. For months I have been trying to figure out where all of these anti gay bills have been coming from. Never got an answer from a number of inquiries I have made through out the internet on the comment board. I really thought this was ALEC, but no one would confirm it.
    So....maybe "they" are also the prolife pushers too, beside a few other extreme right wing factions.

  2. mike from iowa 2014.02.21

    Pastor Jeff Allen must have been gunning for the Guiness book of records for the most cliches in one article about nasty Gays.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2014.02.21

    If you google Koch Brothers Gay Marriage, you will find several articles and references that show the Koch Brothers are supportive of same-sex marriage, including at the federal level.

    In New York state the Koch's helped finance the successful gay marriage initiative.

  4. mike from iowa 2014.02.21

    Roger-that is supposedly David Koch's Libertarian bent showing. The fambly is also heavily Catholic,too.

  5. G-Man 2014.02.22

    Jim Crow alive in Arizona in the 21st Century. Who would have sickly imagined this in America in our day and age?

  6. Jerry 2014.02.22

    Most of America is Jim Crow or worse, damn embarrassing too. Here is one about a white dude and a black dude, you can easily throw the Native into the non-white role and get the same results. Some all men are created equal nonsense, what a bad joke.

  7. Frank Sellers 2014.03.03

    Boy, the more I read about SD, the less I want to live there! Not that I ever wanted to in the first place, I'm just sayin' ...

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.03.03

    I hope we can at least get you to come visit, Frank. South Dakota isn't as bad as the Legislature makes it seem! And remember: our Legislature so far has had the good sense to knock down every one of these fringe bills.

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