Friday, January 18, 2013

In which I ask Sen. Adelstein: why no sex?

To: Senator Stan Adelstein
Subject: SB 109

I am in favor of amending the Human Relations Act.

However I do not understand why you did not use the legally standard terms "sexual orientation" and "sexual preference", instead of the vague terms "gender" and "gender preference". I believe these terms weaken the law and in my opinion would make it difficult to align South Dakota law with Federal law and local laws that already exist in South Dakota (for example, in the City of Brookings).

Are we so repressed in the state of South Dakota that we no longer can call sex sex?

Thank you for your efforts promoting fairness and equality in South Dakota.

Here's the rewrite that is the subject of the bill, which is unlikely to get out of committee in the State House:

20-12-4. Any municipality or county may investigate any discriminatory practices based on sex gender, gender preference, race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, disability, familial status, or national origin, with respect to employment, labor union membership, housing accommodations, property rights, education, public accommodations, or public services.

UPDATE: Madville Times has some good thoughts about this bill.


  1. I would suggest South Dakota sticks with established legal terms like sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

  2. Thanks. I wrote Sen. Adelstein back with the following three terms that I think would be more standard than what is in the current draft:

    1. Sex
    2. Sexual preference
    3. Gender identity