Home > 2014 SD Legislative Session, South Dakota > Representative Kaiser on SB66 and SB67

Representative Kaiser on SB66 and SB67

January 29, 2014

scott_kirkwood_scalesThere are two bills in the South Dakota legislature I expected to cause some controversy this year. They are:

Senate Bill 66
Purpose: provide immunity to clergy, lay officials, and religious organizations that decline to provide certain marriage services.

Senate Bill 67
Purpose: provide protection to certain businesses or persons that decline to provide certain wedding services or goods due to the free exercise of religion.

As expected the editorial board of the Aberdeen American News went on the offense against these bills. Reducing these bills to being ‘anti-gay’ fails to look into the many issues involved. Yes, I believe these bills are cropping up around the country in response to activists suing businesses owners that refuse to do business with gay couples. Personally I think those businesses were silly for refusing service, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to do so. The core of these bills revolve around religious freedom, freedom of association, and property rights. I also believe in the modern world that the free-market can and will punish businesses that discriminate in ways most of society finds offensive.

Since Representative Kaiser was specifically called out in the AAN piece I will repost his reply to the article here. His take is similar to mine, but actually gives a good example 

Recently an article in the American news attacked me about my support of SB 66, a bill that gives immunity to clergy for decline service based on their religious beliefs and SB 67 a bill that provides protection to certain business to decline goods and services due to free exercise of religion.

My history on these bills started months ago when I read an article in the winter 2013 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Intelligence report. This article is about Craig Cobb. SPLC said he is a neo-nazi , anti-Semite. The article went on to say “he has worked tirelessly to spread mindless animosity toward blacks, Latinos, the LGBT community and most passionately Jews.”

The article goes on to talk about how Craig is buying up property in Leith ND with the intent of making a little Nazi town.

I think we the people can combat and destroy this type of bigotry. The answer is clear; it is to empower the people of South Dakota through property rights. So if anybody like Craig moves into your town you will be able to flex your rights and kick this guy out of your shop and you will be covered under religious immunity. Without your rights protected in law you would be forced to serve this guy or face law suits. I cannot imagine how we would force a Jewish business man or woman to serve Craig.

I feel comfortable that if anyone in our community’s used the protection of SB 66 & 67 un-judicially, we the people would not shop at their business and thus put them out of business.

Thank you


Dan states his case well.

Personally I don’t think SB66 or SB67 will pass. I don’t feel there are enough legislators in Pierre that will be brave enough to openly debate such a controversial topic. In the modern world political correctness exerts more pressure upon politicians than individual rights. Political correctness is nothing but another form of intolerance. It is time to reverse that trend. As long as arbitrary political correctness is allowed to control legislation there can never be honest debates about legislation.

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    January 29, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Religious institutions are not businesses. I might be wrong about that after watching Joel Osteen and Pat Robertson and….

    • January 29, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      True, but one of these bills deals with clergy, and the other deals with business owners. Business owners have religious freedoms just like any other citizen.

  1. January 30, 2014 at 4:08 pm
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