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S.D. Senate committee kills bill to allow discrimination against gays

Similar bills pending in Ariz., Tenn., but blocked in Kansas, Idaho
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Update: 11:25 a.m. CST

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 5-2 to kill the bill after opponents said it would have no practical effect but would be seen as mean and hateful.


PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota lawmakers are considering a measure that seeks to protect businesses against lawsuits if they refuse to serve or hire a person because of their sexual orientation.

South Dakota capitol in Pierre.

South Dakota capitol in Pierre.

Under the bill (SB 128), “No person or entity may bring suit against a business for refusing to serve a person or couple based on sexual orientation. The Legislature finds that businesses are private and that their views on sexual orientation are protected to the same extent as the views of private citizens.”

The bill also states that “no private business may be compelled to employ a person based on sexual orientation.”

If passed, the bill would put the South Dakota Legislature on record as finding that expressing the viewpoint that any specific sexual orientation is wrong or a sin is free speech protected by the First Amendment. However, it says speech intended to incite or threaten violence is not allowed.

The measure says a judge must dismiss any lawsuit dealing with freedom of speech or hiring based on sexual orientation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday.

The South Dakota measure is similar to bills pending in Arizona and Tennessee, that would allow discrimination against gays based on religious beliefs.

In Kansas, a bill to allow discrimination against gays sailed through the state House last week, but so far has been blocked in the Senate.

In Idaho, the state House also put the brakes on a bill there.

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35 more reader comments:

  1. Hateful Right-wing reactionary b.s.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:04pm
  2. “Hey, I gotta idea. Let’s make bills to discriminate against gays, they totally worked in other states who had similar ideas.” …Fucking retards.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:05pm
  3. I thought it pased in Kansas was I mistaken?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:06pm
  4. it was struck down pretty quickly when it got to topeka

    Replied on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:08pm
  5. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:06pm
  6. Keep it up red states and your party won’t be elected for decades. A silver lining to all this.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:07pm
  7. Yes, let them talk! Let them try to pass these unconstitutional bills—it will wipe them out in the end!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:10pm
  8. Not blocked in Kansas yet, just tabled.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:10pm
  9. The religious hate of the frightened!!!!! Absolutely NOT American…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:10pm
  10. Honestly putting out laws that oppose something that isn’t a big deal turns them into a big deal which will just result in laws to protect and give more rights to than what would’ve been established without all the hoop la way to waste time and money !

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:12pm
  11. This bill in Kansas is being re-introduced by the Speaker of the House with a new name and even more specific language, so be aware!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:12pm
  12. South Dakota, take note! If you pass this, kiss a large percentage of your tourism revenue goodbye. And since that’s all your state really has going for it…well, you do the math.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:13pm
  13. OK wtf!! I get it. Some states aren’t going to allow gay marriages. Fine, be douche bags. I’m not gay myself but many friends and family members are and some of them just moved. I hope that one day all states allow gay marriages but we’ll just have to have patience. But to pass laws that ALLOW discrimination is a whole other can of worms all together!!!! You’re passing hate laws now and that shit don’t fly with me and it certainly won’t fly with a whole bunch more. I have hope that Texas won’t do some shit like this but it’s Texas we’re talking about. SMDH unbelievable!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:13pm
  14. Not blocked in Idaho. Republicans in the House are taking a “thoughtful pause” before it proceeds.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:13pm
  15. A shame that our state legislators are going to waste tax payer $$ on the lawsuits that will be filed against these unconditional laws.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:14pm
  16. Disgusting!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:15pm
  17. Take it to the Supreme Court and it won’t be allowed

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:17pm
  18. All the states no gays want to live any way!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:18pm
  19. People are so ignorant sometimes just get over it people should be free to love who they want.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:18pm
  20. Well let’s see Supreme Court is finding it unconstitutional to ban gay marriage in states were they ban it so this can be over turn by the court system so if you live in these stats stop bitching and file law suits with Supreme Court

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:20pm
  21. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:22pm
  22. Aren’t there more important issues than trying to introduce something so unbelievably anti American than this?. Land of the free , my ass

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:31pm
  23. Discrimination of any kind is not ok. This is ridiculous.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:36pm
  24. Maybe if they don’t like blinds they can introduce a bill saying they don’t have to serve any. Absolutely insane.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:39pm
  25. Could you imagine the uproar if the bill was to discriminate against blacks…????

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:41pm
  26. Oh well, Most republicans, christians and religious want discrimination on LGBT people. That’s why I will never set foot that churches anymore. Shit religious and Christians are not your friend, Don’t be friend with these fool who hate LGBT people.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:44pm
  27. these people who drafted this bill are very common.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:48pm
  28. wow…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:49pm
  29. yes, by all means, pass this law and let a lawsuit settle it… but it won’t be cheap… but hey, the party of small government will surely not waste the tax payers money on that, right??? oh wait, they will…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:50pm
  30. I think this is insane !!! The gay pay taxes too so how is it posable to accept money and limit the rights ?? Mabey we gays should stop paying taxes and show them just how many we ARE. !!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:51pm
  31. So, can I discriminate against women, the handicapped, Blacks, Jews, etc? Of course not. So why do they feel the need to pass laws that discriminate against me because of their religion? I’m so tired of the religious right wing and their bullshit. Throw them to the lions!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:56pm
  32. And yet another reason I will never be going to south Dakota

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 6:06pm
  33. Isn’t this unconstitutional? And if you’re gonna own a business. Than you should be serving the public, not just people you like. So much stupidity in this country.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 6:07pm
  34. I DON’T FREAKING GET IT!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 6:09pm
  35. history is repeating itself ¬_¬

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 6:14pm