State lawmaker takes on same-sex marriage, related topics with new bill

KELOLAND.com Original
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Rep. Tony Randolph, a Republican from Rapid City, introduced a bill Thursday that would prohibit the state from enforcing, endorsing or favoring policies that cover a range of activities that involve members of the LGBTQ community.

In short, the bill wants the state to not enforce, endorse and favor policies that allow same-sex marriage, policies that allow counties to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and policies that prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the right to marry is guaranteed by same-sex couples by the fourteenth amendment. All 50 states were required to allow and recognize same-sex marriage.

The ACLU of South Dakota has responded to the new bill.

“Marriage equality is the law of the land in South Dakota and the entire nation, no matter what half-baked legal theories anti-LGBTQ lawmakers try to put forward,” said Libby Skarin, the policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. “This bill is further proof that some South Dakota legislators remain committed to discriminating against LGBTQ people and their families. South Dakota lawmakers cannot defy the U.S. Supreme Court based on their extreme personal views.”

The bill would also allow for conversion therapy and prohibit same-sex couples from receiving benefits.

The bill has two sections with 11 points in the first and three in the second. The first section focuses on same-sex marriage, sexual orientation discrimination, sex and gender identification and similar topics.

The second section states that the bill does not affect marriages between a woman and a man, a person’s right to set the person’s self-assert, sex-based identity narrative or sexual orientation or a person’s rights to practice secular humanism.

The bill would also prohibit the state from enforcing, endorsing or favoring policies that permit public libraries or public schools in the state to partner with nonsecular organizations to promote, host, sponsor, favor or endorse drag queen storytime.

Randolph represents House District 35 and is a new member of the Legislature.

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