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April 6, 2021 (Family Research Council) – It's been a hard start to the year for the people of South Dakota, who have watched everything that their legislature worked for vanish with one wave of the governor's hand. “It's maddening. It's frustrating,” one statehouse member said about watching Kristi Noem (R) destroy their months of progress on girls' sports. Despite a week and a half of outcry from her constituents, Noem dug in and did not, as some people hoped, reconsider.
Reporters on both sides were taken aback by the governor's decision, warning that her failure to “read the political room” could have consequences for years to come. Even the Washington Post couldn't help but be surprised that Noem would turn her back on such a core constituency – especially on an issue that enjoys near-consensus support. She made herself a “national icon” for bucking the COVID norms, the Post's Henry Olsen writes. But this “backtracking” on a bill that was an easy lift for a state like South Dakota may have just “torpedoed her standing” with the party's core. “Noem's meteoric national rise has spawned much doubt about whether she has the chops to navigate the difficult issues… How she recovers from this unnecessary self-inflicted wound will determine if the doubters are right.”
In Pierre, where the betrayal hits hardest, leaders like House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R) could only shake his head at how carefully the governor tried to spin her decision. “Her letter back to the House said, 'I have not vetoed the bill,' but her actions said otherwise.” Regardless of the smoke and mirrors, the legislature set to work, desperately trying to find the votes for a veto override. “We strongly debated the bill,” state Rep. Rhonda Milstead (R) explained shortly afterward on “Washington Watch.” “We had good testimony on the bill, but we fell two votes short,” she said soberly. “We had 52 votes in February. Now we have 45… And the unfortunate thing is: there's nothing about that bill that's [changed].” What's changed, she said, is that Republicans “were lobbied very hard by the governor to oppose the bill. And that's the disappointing part. You know, when you keep hearing this message [from her] that, 'I'm all for fairness in sports,' why would you fight it?”
To actual South Dakotans, Rhonda said, the people on the street, it's incredible to them that we even have to debate this issue. But it's probably even more stunning that they've had to fight their own Republican leader to do it! Over the past week, Rhonda pointed out, it was Noem who opposed their effort the loudest. “Some legislators were getting three and four calls [from her] not to go along with this.” Instead of listening to the dozens of organizations who supported it and could defend it, the governor apparently listened to those groups, like the Chamber, who didn't. When push came to shove, it was their threats the governor caved to. “We let these people dictate to us what our values should be,” she argued. And that's wrong. “South Dakota is a state that has integrity. People are moving here because of our integrity, and I think we've let them down.”
The so-called 'Equality Act' contains deadly poison for Christian democracy in the United States. And, its harmless-sounding name tries to hide this insidious reality.
But, unfortunately, Pelosi and company have JUST PASSED this morally repugnant bill in the US House of Representatives.
Pro-life and pro-family organizations, as well as Christian churches and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and freedom-loving groups everywhere, are now sounding the alarm.
Wake up, America, this is RED ALERT time!
This petition, therefore, calls on every US Senator to vigorously oppose and reject this bill.
Yes, it's THAT important.
The bill has nothing to do with "equality," or with extending the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which is how it is being touted by the leftists in the mainstream media.
It is, rather, one of the MOST EXTREME anti-life, pro-LGBT indoctrination bills ever proposed.
It has been described as a short-list of the worst possible elements of the Radical Left's agenda in Congress...and, REMEMBER, it has just passed the House!
We need to tell all US Senators, in no uncertain terms, that WE WILL NOT ACCEPT this outrageous attack on our freedoms and on life, itself!
SIGN AND SHARE THIS URGENT PETITION, TODAY!
And, after you have signed this petition, please CLICK HERE to DIRECTLY CONTACT YOUR U.S. SENATORS, and tell them to oppose this assault on our freedoms of thought, speech, conscience and religion.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Below are some of the devastating critiques of 'Equality Act,' leveled by some of the best conservative, Christian minds in the country.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), has written that the 'Equality Act' will include, "the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion this country has ever seen.”
"Under this big new umbrella of 'discrimination,'" continued Perkins, "any American who doesn’t want to fund, offer, perform, or participate in abortion on demand will have no real choice. They can conform — or they can be punished."
"Every wall that’s been built between abortion and the government would come crashing down, including the Hyde Amendment, the pro-conscience Weldon Amendment, and several international barriers that keep our country from exporting abortion."
ON CHRISTIANITY, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM and LGBT INDOCTRINATION:
Lloyd Marcus, of the American Thinker publication, has written about the 'Equality Act' in the following terms:
"LGBTQ enforcer and homosexual Democrat congressman David Cicilline is sponsor of the Equality Act. Cicilline's evil bill is the most aggressive assault on our constitutional religious liberties in U.S. history...If the Equality Act becomes the law of the land, every outrageous, tyrannical demand [of LGBTQ activists/enforcers] will become reality."
And, Liberty Counsel Action, a law and policy education, training and advocacy organization which, among other things, advances religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the family has extensively criticized the 'Equality Act'.
On their webpage, dedicated to analyzing the 'Equality Act', which you can access below, Liberty Counsel Action state: "The 'Equality' Act' elevates 'sexual orientation and gender identity' to the same protected category as race. It will violate the religious freedom of Americans in numerous ways."
The go on to list the areas of life which this will affect: "It will impact all employers, including religious and non-profit organizations; contractors; houses of worship; public, private, and religious schools; curriculum; bathrooms; sports; daycare providers; shelters; hospitals; places of gatherings; entertainment providers; counselors; foster care and adoption; biological parents; landlords; anywhere providing a “good, service, or program,” including those advertised online; transportation drivers; and all local, state, and federal entities and many other areas."
And, as they note: "[T]here is NO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION to this bill!"
Taking into account all of these potential threats to Christian democracy, Life and religious freedom, it is easy to see how the so-called 'Equality Act' has been called a "poison pill."
It is imperative that the US Senate vigorously reject this bill, AND EXPOSE IT FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS.
Please SIGN this urgent petition, TODAY!
The following links will take you to more information about the 'Equality Act'
The House version of the so-called 'Equality Act' (HR 5): http://lc.org/PDFs/Attachments2PRsLAs/2019/031819EqualityActHR5.pdf
Liberty Counsel Action's full analysis of the so-called 'Equality Act': https://www.lcaction.org/HR5 and https://lc.org/newsroom/details/022421-equality-act-guts-religious-freedom-1
LifeSiteNews opinion and analysis of the so-called 'Equality Act':
In Arkansas, where state leaders just saw their girls' sports bill become law, they watched Noem botch South Dakota's legislation with displeasure. “I think it was a bad decision,” State Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Ark.) said. She should have “worked [alongside] our legislature,” Missy argued, and supported the effort. “There's huge, broad support for this legislation… And the people of Arkansas are willing to go to battle for their voices and for what they stand for. And that's what we should be doing in America. We cannot roll over and just let people threaten us to be silent – threaten us to not stand up for what we believe, and threaten us to not take a stand for something that we all know is the right, common-sense policy…”
In the meantime, Noem will try to hide behind her pair of executive orders on girls' sports – which, like her Title IX coalition, seem to be more about appearances than substance. She offered them after the veto in hopes of tamping down another round of criticism – but the orders, like her substitute for HB 1217 are JV material and fall far short of the protections women need. They don't have a cause of actions for students to sue, don't have a provision barring action against the schools, and only require an affidavit from schools – not a yearly certification. She says it's her attempt at “protecting fairness” until another bill is introduced.
As for the determined South Dakota legislature, it was a valiant effort that deserved better. “I think we'll have to wait until next year to introduce something again,” Rhonda said. “But we'll start working on it and hope that our governor will not be an absent executive and participate in the process with us – instead of waiting until the last week [to stop it].”
Reprinted with permission from the Family Research Council.