Sioux Falls City Council to Withdraw Gender Identity Policy Amendments

daleIt’s been said, “God is seldom early…but never late!”  Well, He showed up in just the nick of time when it comes to our work on the Sioux Falls City Council and their proposed amendment to chapter 39.  The Sioux Falls City Attorney, citing South Dakota Attorney General’s pending litigation against the Obama Administration, announced that the City of Sioux Falls is withdrawing “gender identity policy amendments.”  Click here for the Sioux Falls City Attorney’s Press Release.

Our PRAYERS have been answered as we begin by thanking our God for his hand of grace and guidance in this matter.  Second, we thank our Attorney General, Marty Jackley, for his personal contact with the Sioux Falls City Attorney.  In case you have not seen A. G. Jackley’s PRESS RELEASE, click here.

We cannot thank enough our National Friends who came to our side in assistance to help STOP these Amendments:  Richard Mast of Liberty Counsel, Bruce Hausknecht of Focus On The Family, Kellie Fiedorek and Matt Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom.  We would only but hope that they will stay CLOSE BY as both Amendment to chapter 98 and chapter 39 may well resurface in the near future.  If that happens, we will again rise to the challenge in pushing them back.

I wish to thank those who joined us in this effort!  I, and FHA Action, have been and are HONORED to stand by your side in this matter.  Now…onward and forward!

Sioux Falls City Council Update

Sioux_falls_sd_lg_reducedIf you have been paying any attention at all to FHA Action lately, you know that the “storm on our radar” has had to do with the Sioux Falls City Council and the agenda of some thereon to implement invasive and far-reaching policies regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.  We dodged a bullet (pardon the mixed metaphor) on HRO CH98, but only barely.  That extensive ordinance has been withdrawn but will likely return.  Now, we are tracking an amendment to another Sioux Falls City Ordinance that would include the same type of ‘gender identity’ protection in employment by the city.  This is an amendment to HRO Ch 39.

If you live, shop, worship, or do business in Sioux Falls, you have a voice on this issue.  Please contact the following City Council Members and Mayor Huether, urging them to OPPOSE the amendment to HRO Ch 39.  Be brief, respectful, and factual in your message.

Click here for up-to-date information on the amendment to HRO #39 provided by FHA Action, Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, and other faith based organizations.

Here are some immediate action steps for you.

  • We can all BE VIGILANT in PRAYER.
  • Attend the Council meeting on June 14. Mark your calendar. Be there.  This City Council meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Carnegie Town Hall, 235 West Tenth Street, Sioux Falls.
  • Contact the Mayor and the Council members – OPPOSE the amendment to HRO Chapter 39
  • Alert your friends.

Your Voice Was Heard – For Now Anyway

Editor’s Note:  This is an update to this article posted last week.  Article by Ed Randazzo, Public Policy Analyst for FHA Action.
edRecently we learned that the Sioux Falls City Council was set to approve the most invasive and overreaching “SOGI” (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity) Ordinance amendments in the nation.  This was the Human Relations Ordinance (HRO) CH 98.

FHA Action, along with other godly stakeholders including Liberty Counsel, Focus on the Family, and others, mobilized to oppose this dangerous attempt to make those grappling with sexual orientation issues and gender identity issues a protected class of citizens. If successful, this amendment to the Sioux Falls Human Rights Ordinance would have forced not only the City of Sioux Falls but businesses and even churches to comply, even if it was counter to their religious or moral convictions.

Your voice was heard. The mobilization has already produced limited success as the Sioux Falls City Attorney’s office has requested that this Ordinance Amendment (HRO CH 98) be withdrawn from the Council’s June 14th prepared agenda.  ABC’s Sioux Falls affiliate, KSFY files this report.  We will continue to be vigilant; however, as it is likely that some form of SOGI amendment will be forthcoming.

Already we know of the intent to amend another Sioux Falls Ordinance that would include gender identity protection in employment by the City of Sioux Falls.  This is the HRO CH 39.  FHA Action will oppose its passage.

FHA Action assures you that we will continue to make sure your voice is heard and we will inform you of further developments in Sioux Falls and across our great state.

URGENT:  Proposed Sioux Falls Human Relations Ordinance

SOGI mtg - May 19Sioux Falls residents please take heed!   The Sioux Falls City Council is entertaining the passage of “AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 98: HUMAN RELATIONS”  (the Human Relations Ordinance” or “HRO”). The HRO was read for the second time at the Tuesday, May 3, 2016 meeting of the City Council, but further action was deferred to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.  FHA Action believes the HRO contains a number of serious deficiencies, which require that it be rejected.

FHA Action has contacted several national organizations to legally assist us in both understanding the intent of this Ordinance and how to effectively deal with its egregious nature.  One of those organizations is Liberty Counsel.  Liberty Counsel is an international non-profit legal, media and policy organization with offices in Orlando, Florida; Lynchburg, Virginia; and Washington D.C.  They specialize in First Amendment religious liberty matters and the protection of constitutional liberties.

Recently Liberty Counsel has written and sent a ‘Letter of Concern’ over this HRO to Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether and the eight City Council Members.  Please CLICK HERE to read this well documented piece.

On Thursday, May 19, FHA Action called an emergency meeting of faith-based community leaders to meet for the purpose of discussing this HRO and determining where we would go from here.  Forty plus Sioux Falls Pastors, Legislators, Elected Officials, Grandparents and Parents showed up for this information-gathering-meeting.  The meeting lasted an hour and 15 minutes and included very helpful phone calls from Attorney’s with Liberty Counsel and Focus On The Family.

  • Bruce Hausknecht of Focus On The Family wrote:  “This ordinance is a recipe for community friction, lawsuits, and the further interference by government into the affairs of the church.” 
  • Richard Mast of Liberty Counsel wrote:  “The City (Sioux Falls) has an obligation to protect women and girls from men invading private areas reserved for women. The City should not infringe upon the religious liberties of private businesses, churches and religious organizations in their employment decisions. The City should not override the rights of parents of students in schools to shield their children from gender confusion or inappropriate expressions of sexuality. For these reasons and others, therefore, the HRO should be rejected.”

Please ACT NOW and contact your Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether and your City Council Members (below) and respectfully share your great concern over the Amendments being proposed to the city’s Human Relations Ordinance (HRO).  This HRO should be rejected!  Remember, it has been rightly said, “What is tolerated today becomes accepted tomorrow.

Sioux Falls City Council:

Mayor Mike Huether

Christine M. Erickson 

Michelle Erpenbach

Rick Kiley

Rex Rolfing

Pat Starr

Marshall Selberg

Greg Neitzert

Theresa Stehly