In a previous article we discussed the agenda behind the blue & white billboards that have been popping up around SD, but let’s peel back one more layer of the onion.
First, a recap. We know that the message behind the billboards is that South Dakota needs to place Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) in state statute, to mandate protections against discrimination and harassment. This effort will either be attempted in the State Legislature, or on the ballot. The cause of protecting people against these things is noble on the surface, but as we discussed earlier; what is presented as a shield of protection is often used as a sword of punishment. This has become the case for Jack Phillips, Baronnelle Stutzman, Blaine Adamson, and many others. It also paves the way for situations like what happened to Alexis Lightcap or the Thomas Family.
Now onto the next layer of the onion. We know the agenda of the website listed on the bottom of the billboards, BeyondIDo.org, but what about the small logo to the right of the website? That’s where more of the true colors of this message begin to show. The Gill Foundation was founded by Tim Gill, and is one of the largest funders of LGBT causes. The Gill Foundation website claims they have spent over $343 Million dollars on their cause, which the Rolling Stone summarizes as “…academic research, polling, litigation, data analytics, and field organizing.” The article explains that “Gill’s fingerprints are on nearly every major victory in the march to marriage, from the 2003 Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health case, which made Massachusetts the first state to allow same-sex marriage, to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision two decades later that legalized it in all 50.” Although the amount of money spent and the amount of influence exerted by the Gill Foundation is surprising, the motive behind the actions is even more alarming. Mr. Gill is not simply looking to hold ground that has been made, but rather continuing an offensive strategy against those who hold traditional beliefs about marriage, sexuality and gender. He says “We’re going into the hardest states in the country” … “We’re going to punish the wicked.”
A message that was discernible by looking at the outcomes of Jack and Baronnelle’s situations, is made crystal clear by Mr. Gill’s statements. He has an agenda he is pushing and anyone who stands in the way will be punished.
On September 17, the Rapid City School Board will be voting on changes to the Western Dakota Tech Discrimination and Harassment policies. Among the changes is the addition of “gender identity” to the list of protected classes. Although we would never agree to the victimization or exploitation of any student, adding gender identity to the list of protected classes is a dangerous idea.
We need your help!
First – Sign the Petition. Click Here
Second – Come to the School Board meeting September 17, 5:30pm, Western Dakota Tech Pennington County Room, Rapid City, SD.
Click Here to Sign the Petition!
Email the School Board
Click here for talking points from Ed Randazzo
What’s a SOGI Ordinance?
A few weeks ago, Ed Randazzo published an article discussing a billboard that we spotted in Rapid City. Now, there are three such billboards that we have spotted. (See updates at bottom of page). We know they are sponsored by a foundation in Colorado, but what message are they spreading? What are they calling for? If you visit the website noted on the billboard and navigate to the South Dakota page, you will see the assertion that South Dakota is legally discriminating against members of the LGBT community. They give links to “fact-finding” pages, as well as the personal story of Crystal and Amanda. The article claims that Crystal was fired by an anti-LGBT boss, which caused great financial hardship. It never says that Crystal and Amanda are from South Dakota, but it makes the claim that a similar situation could easily arise here and that we need legal protections to prevent it. This request sounds quite reasonable and compassionate at first glance. Should someone be fired, or denied housing, or denied healthcare because of who they choose to be in a relationship with? Or because they identify as a gender other than their birth sex? The reaction of most people would be “No, that sounds really mean! We should protect against that.” And you’re right, we shouldn’t be mean. However, the solution they offer is to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) to the list of legally protected classes (race, sex, religion, etc.) and here is the problem…
SOGI ordinances and laws that are presented as protective shields, often become swords used against those of a Biblical worldview. The most prominent example is that of Jack Phillips (click here to watch his story). Jack was simply living out his faith in his business, when someone used SOGI protections against him. The same is true for Baronnelle Stutzman in Washington. And Blaine Adamson in Colorado. And the list goes on…
UPDATE: They are going after Jack AGAIN
Although we believe that we as Christians should show love towards those in the LGBT community and would never advocate for anyone to target them, placing sexual orientation and gender identity in the protected class list is not the right step. What is presented as a shield, will someday be used as a sword.
So what’s next? It’s yet to be seen. The BeyondIDo website doesn’t say what specific policy changes they will seek, nor does it tell us if they will be seeking state or local changes. But we do know this: once the proposals surface, we will need your help to spread the message of truth about these dangerous changes. Stay tuned, and let us know if you see a similar billboard in your community!
UPDATE: There are currently 5 Billboards in Rapid City, 1 in Sturgis, & 1 in Ft. Pierre
Recently, we have noticed a billboard in Rapid City that seems innocuous enough at first. But when you visit the website noted it is clear that its purpose is to promote LGBT individuals as a legal protected class in South Dakota.
It showcases a LGBT couple, Crystal and Amanda, who claim to have been the victims of discrimination because Crystal is male but has “transitioned” to female. The website seeks to influence states to enact laws making LGBT individuals a protected class. It is quite possible that effort may be forthcoming in South Dakota, promoted by organizations and interests outside South Dakota, to enact “sexual orientation or gender identity” (SOGI) laws which would then include LGBT individuals as a protected class.
These laws create new rights based on sexual behavior and identity, placing those rights at the same level as other freedoms, such as speech, religion and association. This inevitably leads to conflict with those who hold a Biblical view of sexuality that will increasingly find their voices marginalized and eventually banned from the public square.
Editor’s Note: This is an update to this article posted last week. Article by Ed Randazzo, Public Policy Analyst for FHA Action.
Recently 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.