SB149 Deserves To Be Passed & Signed

Dale Bartscher

“Leave your religious beliefs at home.” You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it…..a lot. That doesn’t make it true or even desirable. Our forefathers came to the New World with theirs. Their religious beliefs and moral convictions were in the forefront of their minds as they forged the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Much has changed since those moral visionaries signed those documents, but our Judeo-Christian heritage, our Biblically based religious beliefs and moral convictions are unchangeable.

In the 2017 South Dakota Legislative Session 65 of 105 legislators voted to pass Senate Bill 149 (SB 149) into law. Only the Senate’s Concurrence and the Governor’s signature remain to make it so. Respectfully – the Governor should sign it!

Why? Because SB 149 stands firmly in support of the religious beliefs and moral convictions of privately owned non-profit adoption agencies.  The law would ensure that the State of South Dakota may not coerce them to abandon their sincerely-held religious beliefs or moral convictions in their placement decisions and the ongoing need for placement of children in safe nurturing homes will be served.

These faith-based adoption agencies do not currently receive any state funds for child placement services but without this protection, they are faced with a possible decision of closing their doors or failing their mission. While this has already occurred in other states, it should never happen here in South Dakota.

There are many adoption service providers in our state, including private and public adoption agencies, so that any family that is looking to adopt will be able to find a provider tailored to helping them.

South Dakota is blessed to have several religious agencies, like Bethany Christian Services, New Horizons Adoption Agency and Catholic Social Services that have helped countless children find loving homes.

Laws like this, which protect religious freedom, serve to encourage other faith-based organizations to volunteer their services, knowing that their freedom to exercise their religion will not be infringed simply for deciding to compassionately open their doors to help others. The net result is that South Dakotans get more options as more faith-based services can be assured of a safe environment to operate.

We anticipate the Senate will Concur this coming Tuesday, March 7, with the House version of SB149 and then that our Governor will sign it into law.

Please HELP US NOW by calling your SENATOR in Pierre at
and leave a message for him/her to:
Respectfully ‘Vote Yes to Concur’ with SB149.

Or click here to use our email system



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