South Dakota State Sen. David Omdahl's (R-Sioux Falls) malignant statement received audible gasps at a "legislative coffee" chat on Saturday, as the state's lawmakers move towards restricting restroom access for trans people — and something much worse.
Become a patron of breaking LGBTQ newsChip in $4 go
That's a jaw-dropping supercut featuring shocking soundbites from several South Dakota lawmakers as they stoke support for HB-1008. That bill could subject any person to hostile gender verification or genetic testing, and then targetedly relegate any identified trans person into separately-designated restrooms.
Unfortunately, the intentions of these lawmakers appear worse than even the bill they support. They revealed their agenda and ignorances when the chat's moderator asked a good question: Why is it that they think it is their right to supersede federal laws protecting trans people from discrimination?
Disturbingly, two of the lawmakers called for criminalizing trans people who need to pee. Two others claimed that trans people must be treated as mentally ill. A third suggested trans people are trying to infiltrate girl's locker rooms, like they're predators.
Here's their abbreviated responses, roughly transcribed from The Argus Leader's video.
"It is already a crime for a male to expose himself in front of a female. They can call it she, he, whatever ... as long as they have male anatomy, they are in violation of that law, if nothing else."
— Rep. Jim Stalzer (R-Sioux Falls)
"If you're a boy, you go to the boys' room. If you're a girl, you go to the girls' room. If you're one of the unfortunate people that don't really know, then you go to a separate bathroom."
— Rep. Mark Willadsen (R-Sioux Falls)
"I'm sorry if you're so twisted you don't even know who you are, a lot of people are. It's about protection to kids. I don't even understand where our society is these days ... they're treating the wrong part of the anatomy. They ought to be treating it [psychologically]."
— Sen. David Omdahl (R-Sioux Falls)
"Having served on the Board of Mental Illness for twenty-five-or-so years ... for us to perpetuate confusion in the lives of anyone is a disservice for them ... it is an epidemic at this point, the way it's being discussed, but the fact is it's a choice of lifestyle."
— Rep. Steven Haugaard (R-Sioux Falls)
"I got a phone call this morning from ... a guy ... in District 13. First time I ever had a call. He was very upset with me for voting for this bill. He wanted to know my reasoning. I brought up locker rooms, the girl's locker room, and I asked if he would like to go. Basically, he said 'thanks I understand it now.'"
— Rep. Arch Beal (R-Sioux Falls)
Their ignorance runs counter to basic human rights, the American Psychological Association's DSM, and Title IX protections of the Education Amendments of 1972. In April 2014, the U.S. Department of Education issued clear-cut guidance that Title IX prohibits educational programs from discriminating on the basis of gender identity.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has cautioned that HB-1008 would force South Dakota school districts "into an untenable position of choosing between state and federal law." Educational programs that do not adhere to Title IX could lose federal funds.
LGBT advocates and civil libertarians on Twitter are less-than pleased.
Once more - these comments indicate what this bill is about. It's an attack on the very existence of transgender people. #LegCoffee— Libby Skarin (@Libby_ACLUSD) February 6, 2016
Willadsen: Transgenders are "unfortunate" & don't know what they are— Tami Brown (@TamiBrown72) February 6, 2016
Omdahl: They're " twisted"
Haugaard: "a choice"