Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Since When Does South Dakota Support Discrimination? Our Attorney General Says The Civil Rights Act Doesn't Apply To Everyone.

     South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg makes it sound so simple.  Without explanation and no particularly compelling state interest, he just added South Dakota to a brief filed at the Supreme Court by 15 states supporting the defendants, employers in a case who, in separate instances, fired people because of their sexual orientation and/or sexual identity.  The employees sued, claiming they were denied protections granted by the federal Civil Rights Act that became law in 1964.  The law mentions "sex" as a protected status but says nothing about sexual behavior or gender identity.  Ravnsborg has said, disingenuosly, that "the case rests with the definition of 'sex' as it exists [in the Act] as written in 1964 . . . and that the plain meaning of 'sex' is biological status, not sexual orientation or gender identity."
AG Ravnsborg
LGBTQ?  No Civil Rights For You

     Why disingenuous?  Because if the meaning of sex is as plain as Ravnsborg claims it to be, this case wouldn't have made it to the Supreme Court.  His offhanded dismissal of the complexities involved is simplistic and doesn't address the myriad demands for justice in a society as complicated and diverse as ours.  And if "plain meaning" is the criterion our Attorney General chooses to use for the law's application, then "plain meaning" should be applied to define what actually occurred.  The facts are that these employees were "plainly" fired because of who they are.  That means they were "plainly" discriminated against.  Ravnsborg has officially put the State of South Dakota into the position of supporting a discriminatory action by employers who can't tolerate the presence of employees that differ from their standards of appearance and personal behavior.  And we South Dakotans are supposedly supporting this on the basis of a definition of sex that is archaic and no longer fits contemporary social realities.  Heck, if it's about sticking to outmoded language and concepts, we should insist that every gun owner in this country be a member of a "well-regulated militia," just like it says in the Second Amendment.
     Our Attorney General can't see that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is more about protecting individual rights than about defining the status of victims.  There doesn't seem to be a similar complaint having been lodged in South Dakota (I'm correctable on this--I just haven't found anything), which, if true, means that Ravnsborg is making a gratuitous political statement, one that tells our state's employers that it's okay to fire people for the way they dress or behave privately.


  1. Combine the actions of the AG, the Governor and what may happen in the legislature it is only a matter of time before South Dakota is hit with another boycott which could be well coordinated. I used to believe those in the Republican party were pro-business and cared about the short and long term health of the economy but these zealots are driving the economy and state into the ground! One South Dakota legislator commented that they were just empty threats and would have zero effect and voted for a discriminatory bill that was later killed. It may come to a test. South Dakota is already one of the top states in the nation for brain drain.

  2. Wondering why some people want to cut off their testicles, change genders or why your kids are autistic and obese? No serious discussion of issues associated with gender identity can be undertaken without the studying the effects of phthalates and other plasticizers on human genetics. Aluminum, propylene glycol (steareths), Triclosan, parabens and phthalates are endocrine disruptors that wreak havoc in children and adolescents.

    South Dakota Republicans are attacking kids and don't want schools to talk about the causes of gender dysphoria. Why? Because their campaign dollars come from white christianists like the Family Heritage Alliance and the very industries that manufacture the products causing it.

    I have been chronicling gender bending chemicals in the environment for three decades and have learned it’s all related: a medical industry oligopoly, gender dysphoria, polluted waterways, subsidized agriculture, absence of medical insurance, cancer and Republican legislatures on the dole.

    It sure is curious how some can tout the benefits of surgical genital mutilation as a treatment for gender dysphoria while condemning other therapies like cannabis and denying others death with dignity.

  3. On one side we have the zealots within the SD Republican party & their annual fixation with LGBTQ which could be due to unresolved sexual issues such as sexual identity or sexual orientation. Then we have a commenter who suggests that solutions are to just get stoned out of their minds and numb the heck out of themselves with the super high potency weed they have today putting them at an even greater risk of harm such as psychosis, addiction, mental health decline or he advises assisted suicide.

  4. On one side we have the extreme white wing of the SD Republican party & their annual fixation with condemning kids which could be due to unresolved sexual issues such as sexual identity or sexual orientation and environmental contamination. Then we have a commenter who suggests that solutions are to just let those Republicans end civil liberties and exacerbate the risk of harm from psychosis, addiction, mental health decline and assisted suicide linked to personal choices like obesity.

  5. You want to rely on a 1964 law for LGBTQ rights....the AG is right you are one thought that in 1964!