Meade County Commissioner under attack for expressing his views

According to the Rapid City Journal, Meade County commissioner Alan Aker is under a bit of attack by those who dwell on-line after expressing that the recent Supreme Court ruling would cause states to get out of the marriage business. (State Legislators have also noted they were going to bring bills to that effect in SD).

Meade County Commissioner Alan Aker has faced an outpouring of anger and criticism, including a petition to remove him from office, after he used his county Facebook account to predict dire consequences from the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing gay marriage.

The court’s 5-4 decision was announced on Friday, June 26; later that morning, Aker’s Facebook post included his prediction that states will begin to eliminate civil marriage.

“You haven’t gained marriage ‘equality,'” he wrote, “I predict you have ended marriage as a civil institution. One by one, states will remove it from statutes. It will be an exclusively religious institution.”


Reader comments on the post include criticism that Aker misused a public official page, acted unprofessionally and put his own views above those of his constituents.

Aker has this disclaimer on his Meade County Facebook page: “This page written and paid for by Alan Aker, not Meade County. Commissioner Alan Aker does not speak for the Meade County Commission or other Meade County officials.”

Read it here.

Since this, on-line petitions have come out, demanding that he be removed from office.

I’m not sure how he’s “misused a public official page” that he put up and maintains himself. I think that tends to show the ignorance of the people signing up for the lynch mob.

The thing that’s troubling is that the protest illustrates a ratcheting up of the rhetoric, and seems to imply that Aker is somehow mystically barred from having and expressing opinions contrary to those who support the ruling.  The 14th Amendment may have trumped the first amendment in that instance, but that’s not to say that future rulings are going to go that way when the first wave of “religious protection acts” start hitting the court.

I’d say a little peace and empathy on both sides might go a long way while we sort this out as a nation, but that might be asking a bit much.

14 thoughts on “Meade County Commissioner under attack for expressing his views”

  1. This is just indicative of how the people on the left and sympathetic to the left are trying to stifle free speech and free expression. Isn’t this the land of the free anymore? Aren’t people allowed to speak their minds without fear of losing their jobs? Whether or not you agree with Aker, it is scary to think that people have to be afraid to speak their minds anymore for fear of being labeled racist, homophobe, or bigoted or for fear of losing their jobs or positions. This is truly scary for the future of this nation. Tolerance works both ways, a thing that many people seem to have forgotten.

    1. “Aren’t people allowed to speak their minds without fear of losing their jobs.” Much like LGBT people can be fired for their jobs for being a member of that community? I can agree that there are some over the top members of the LGBT community that scream foul any time they are slighted, but the Christian Right needs to take a look at themselves as well. It kinda stinks being in the minority where people shun you simply for being who you are doesn’t it? I’m not saying its right, I’m just saying it’s interesting to see their reactions. The moral majority now finds themselves in the minority and doesn’t know how to handle it. I personally agree that Mr. Aker should be able to express his views on his personal site. It is no different then Ted Cruz expressing his opinions.

      1. When do you ever hear about somebody in the “LGBT” community getting fired? I DO hear about Christians being persecuted for not wanting to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Too many people see rights where there are not any; if the baker’s beliefs don’t allow them to bake the cake, why the hatred from the “tolerant” left? Whatever happened to freedom of religion? Oh, that’s one of the beliefs, traditions, or part of the history that the wife of the socialist in the White House said we’d have to change.

        1. Two points:
          1. “When do you ever hear about somebody in the LGBT community being fired?” 1 in 10 gay/lesbian and 1 in 4 transgender individuals is a pretty substantial number. And to go back as early as the 1970s if the Briggs Initiative would have passed you would have to worry about firing because they wouldn’t even be hired in the first place.
          2. Please provide information as to when Michelle Obama specifically said we need to do away with freedom of religion.
          P.S. The real socialist (Bernie) has been out on the campaign trail criticizing the socialist you claim is currently in the White House. The President is not a socialist.

  2. Springer,

    I’m pretty sure Aker will not retract his statement or be afraid in the future to speak his mind. I’m not sure what the law is with regard to recall of a County Commissioner, but it is what it is- If allowed, he can face recall for any reason a petitioner wants. And, like Scott Walker, he can be vindicated in an election. If the nuts want to spend their time initiating a recall, I say go for it.


    One exception to what you wrote: The SCOTUS ruling on SSM didn’t trump the First Amendment and in particular Aker’s rumination on what the consequences will be. His right to say what his mind is still protected.

    1. Troy,

      There are those who believe the decision is contrary to the first amendment right to the free exercise of religion. For example:

      Indeed, emboldened by a conspicuous lack of reaffirmation of First Amendment principles in Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion, opponents of religious freedom are already using the decision as a springboard for attacks on the tax-exempt status of any dissenting organization—including churches. Most calls are coming from the fringe. But some of these extremists are individuals such as Mark Oppenheimer, a New York Times columnist whose attack was quickly published by Time Magazine.

      That’s what I’m referring to. And that’s why I think we’re going to have a whole slew of state laws and related court cases drying to figure out where the line is drawn between the right to marry and the right to follow the tenets of one’s faith.

      1. Got it. I thought you were talking about the free speech component as Springer was. The freedom of religion and free exercise is going to be a big issue for decades because of this ruling.

    2. My point is not that it is illegal to speak one’s mind but that people will be afraid of what the consequences will be to them as to their job, their reputation, their being sued etc just for doing so. Whether or not it is illegal, if people are made afraid to speak their mind, the result is the same. Control of free expression.

      1. I don’t know where you work springer,, but where I work if the boss doesn’t like something that I have to say he can fire me on the spot….. I can’t remember ever having a job that included freedom of speech…..

  3. Springer,

    I thought that is what you meant. And, I think the left’s bullying tactics aren’t going to stop so we just have to be prepared to stand up. It’s amazing how giving bullies the figurative punch in the nose causes THEM to back down.

    Further, my guess is Aker welcomes the fight and if they try to recall him is looking forward to vindication. I say call their bluffs and tell them to bring it on. I’m pretty sure the left in Wisconsin wish they hadn’t gone after Walker.

  4. anybody that thinks they are going to scare Alan out of any opinion, or into silence on any subject he cares deeply about (which are many) – Hey, I’ve got a bridge near Brooklyn I’ll sell you.

  5. It’s pretty entertaining to see the classical right-wing “bullies” ringing their hands over whether or not somebody now might be going to perhaps “bully” them back. LOL. You can’t make this stuff up.

    My advice? Don’t worry about it. Equal means equal. You who are worried about it will just have to get used to not being (as per Orwell) “more equal than [some] others.” 😉

    And if you’re even that least bit concerned about losing your religious freedom, my guess is, you never had it to begin with. Because as those who really do have it know, it comes from the inside, not the outside.

    Just read an interesting article that explains what (to me) has always been kind of a paradox, about how some people who seems to be the most religious are also sometimes the most exclusive, xenophobic, and prejudiced against others.

    Here’s a link:

  6. I’m so tired of the mob mentality that is raging across the world right now. It is not healthy for America or the first amendment. People please be rational and preach love not hatred.

  7. As a “libbie” atheist, if there were a real threat to religious liberties I would not hesitate to join those resisting that threat…ain’t gonna happen.. Throughout christian history the bible has been used to try to justify anything the leaders told the flock to do or think. It is still so and hopefully it seems the thumping of their bible and screaming religious persecution as an excuse to practice the ignorance=fear=hate ( illegal) bigotry is ending.
    Religious affiliation is dropping like a rock and the pseudo (c)histians are in panic mode and whining about how things are changing, do they ever wonder why? It is because of “them”, not anything or anybody else. People have heard what is spewed by the evangelical right, not only are they not buying it…it makes us angry.

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