The following letter was sent to Governor Noem on December 19, 2022.
Honorable Governor Kristi Noem
500 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
As you know, South Dakota State University recently hosted a “kid-friendly” drag show hosted on state property, which has sparked outrage from parents and level-headed people across our state. People like me are striving to protect children here in South Dakota from harm, and I know you want to do the same.
As you said in your State of the State Address in 2022, “We are blessed to be living in South Dakota. The state of our state is the strongest it has ever been — even with so many challenges in the world around us.”
As a fourth generation South Dakotan, I could not agree more with you. However, our state cannot be the strongest it has ever been if we are unwilling to protect our own children from danger. As someone who is about to become a new father in the coming weeks, this issue hits home for me.
Innocent children should not be exposed to drag shows. Full stop. I have no doubt you agree with me and that you would never want to your grandchildren exposed to such vulgarity like we saw in the video footage from the South Dakota State University’s “kid friendly” drag show. If you have not seen the video footage, I encourage you to do so. It will disgust you.
It may be legal for a student group to host a drag show on campus for those 18 years or older, but according to South Dakota law, code 22-24-30, it looks as if it may very well be illegal for children to attend such repulsive, child-grooming events.
Considering you have the power to hold the South Dakota Board of Regents accountable and fire at will, I am greatly disappointed you and your administration have taken no action to rectify this situation or to ensure that drag shows for children never happen again on South Dakota soil. The only answer we have seen from your office is for South Dakotans to reach out to the Attorney General. Our children deserve our protection, and as Governor, you have not only the duty, but the responsibility to act.
- Will you work with the Attorney General’s office to discover the interpretation of South Dakota law, code 22-24-30, which states, “A person is guilty of disseminating material harmful to minors if, with reference to a motion picture, show, or other presentation which depicts nudity, sexual conduct, or sado-masochistic abuse, and which is harmful to minors…”?
- Will you actively work with our state lawmakers to push legislation that protects South Dakota minors from future drag shows and commit to signing such legislation into law?
- Have you spoken to the South Dakota Board of Regents and the President of the South Dakota State University about this drag event to ensure our taxpayer-funded buildings are not used to harm our children in the future?
Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent and important matter. I am committed to working with you and your office to fight for vulnerable children across our state.
Director, Family Heritage Alliance Action
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