Today in a press release, the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT organization, sent out a preview of what it is predicting in state and local legislative battles in the year ahead, noting that the anticipate bills contrary to their agenda will be considered in at least 27 states.
In 2016, HRC expects more than two dozen state legislatures to consider anti-equality measures. These include legislatures in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The full report can be read at www.hrc.org/2016legislature.
(From a press 1/8/16 press release)
According to the report, the group expects two major areas of legislative measures for South Dakota:
In South Dakota, the group is likely focusing on legislation such as HB 1008, which makes certain school bathrooms and locker rooms gender specific based on biology.
However, no measure has been pre-filed as of yet for 2016 allowing for the ability to refuse service because of religious objections, as championed as a result of lawsuits against bakers, photographers, etc, for declining to provide services for same sex marriages.
During previous sessions, measures underlining our ability to reject business on a religious basis had been introduced and failed. However, they failed before the US Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states this past June. Which takes lawsuits from those objections from the arena of speculative possibility into potential reality in South Dakota.
State Attorney General Marty Jackley has been up front in saying “Under the law, constitutional rights are required to coexist.” The question is what form that coexistence is going to take in South Dakota as a result of this upcoming legislative session.