South Dakota Hub




Federal Judge Denies South Dakota's Motion to Dismiss Challenge to State Gay Marriage Ban

The lawsuit challenging South Dakota's marriage equality ban has received the green light from U.S. Judge Karen Schreier after she rejected the state's motion for the case to be dismissed on Friday. 

Via press release:

South dakotaIn a 28-page opinion, issued Friday afternoon, Judge Schreier agreed with the plaintiffs, writing, “Given the subsequent developments recognized almost uniformly by federal courts following the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, Baker is no longer binding authority. Although Bruning explained that sexual orientation is not a suspect class, it did not address whether marriage is a fundamental right. Thus, those cases do not foreclose relief on plaintiffs’ due process and equal protection claims.”

The Court will now consider the legitimacy of the marriage bans. Judge Schreier ordered state officials to respond to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment within ten days. The State must explain why its refusal to wed same-sex couples and its refusal to recognize out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples do not violate U.S. Constitution guarantees of due process, equal protection, and the right to travel.

Here's the current marriage map via Freedom to Marry:

Marriage map

Here's the order via Equality Case Files:


South Dakota Police Identify Two Wanted For Questioning In Assault Case Tied To Anti-Gay Slur

Person-of-interest_jpg_475x310_q85

Police in Sioux Falls, South Dakota have identified two people wanted for questioning in connection to the assault of local resident, 27-year-old Drew Bartscher, KELO reports.

Bartscher, who is straight, was brutally attacked after he told a woman who called him and his friends "faggots" that she should not use that word. "It's rude," he said. Bartscher was then attacked by the woman's boyfriend:

"Then I hear this guy yell at me, 'What the F did you say to my girlfriend?!?!'  I turned just a little bit and then the next thing I know, my friends are picking me up off the sidewalk, (because) I had gotten punched pretty good," Bartscher said.

Just hours after releasing photos to the media of two individuals wanted for questioning, police were able to identify both. However, it is not known "if the man or woman in the photos had anything to do with the assault or if they just saw what happened."

KELO also points out that the incident has not gone unnoticed by local elected officials: "Mayor Mike Huether mentioned the attack in a recent news conference calling on the city to do more to fight domestic violence, bullying and prejudice."


South Dakota Man Attacked for Speaking Out Against Woman Using Anti-gay Slur: VIDEO

Bartscher

A 27-year-old man from Sioux Falls, South Dakota  is nursing a head injury after being retaliated against for calling out a woman on her use of an anti-gay slur. Drew Bartscher was waiting with his two friends outside a downtown bar Saturday night when he heard a girl calling Bartscher and his friends "faggots," KELO-TV reports:

Bartscher2"I hear a woman regard -- make a comment to her boyfriend.  Uh, along the lines of, 'These F-ing F-words.'  Referring to homosexuals," Bartscher said.

Bartscher, who was in crowd with two of his friends outside of Wiley's Tavern, could have said nothing and walked away.  Instead, he said he politely told her she should not say that word

"It's rude," Bartscher said.

What happened next blindsided him.

"Then I hear this guy yell at me, 'What the F did you say to my girlfriend?!?!'  I turned just a little bit and then the next thing I know, my friends are picking me up off the sidewalk, (because) I had gotten punched pretty good," Bartscher said.

Batscher, who is straight, said that while he's a bit embarrassed about his shiner, he's not ashamed for standing up for what he believes in. He credits his parents with giving him the values to find the courage to stand up for the gay community and hopes to pass these traits on to his two girls. 

What a great dad and ally. 

Watch a KELO-TV report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "South Dakota Man Attacked for Speaking Out Against Woman Using Anti-gay Slur: VIDEO" »


Catholic High School Stands Behind Openly Gay Coach

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 7.35.30 AM

As we have reported many times before, Catholic schools do not have a good track record with gay teachers. As such, one would be forgiven for thinking that a story about a gay coach for a Catholic school, in South Dakota no less, would be one that ended in tragedy. Unbelievably, this is not the case; quite the opposite in fact.

Last week the volleyball and baseball coach for St. Mary High School, a Catholic school in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, Nate Alfson came out in an email to Outsports. Said Alfson of his follow-up meeting with the school:

The meeting with the school went great. We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me. They want me to be their volleyball coach again and that I was a great role model to the athletes.

I couldn't be happier that they are supportive and want me to be a part of the coaching team. It's a sense of relief to be able to move forward and focus on volleyball and the girls. This season is about them and the hard work they put in. The support has been amazing and I can't wait to live a free life!

It's almost as if Alfson's orientation has no bearing whatsoever on his ability to be a leader, teacher, and role model. Congratulations to St. Mary for acknowledging and supporting Alfson's worth as a teacher and a person rather than dragging everyone down with archaic dogma, and here's hoping that more Catholic schools will follow their lead.

Check out a KSFY report on the original story HERE.


Lawyer Wants Summary Judgment in Challenge to South Dakota Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

Newville-better-crKSFY reports that late last Thursday night, Minneapolis-based Lawyer Joshua Newville (pictured) filed a request with the state of South Dakota to resolve the state's gay marriage ban in a different way. In lieu of the current lawsuit going to trial, Newville argues that the judge should bypass the trial and declare the marriage ban unconstitutional.

Newville emphasizes both the importance of fast action for families whose fate hangs in the balance, and legal precedence — he points out that: "Of the 22 or 23 cases that have been decided in the last year, the vast majority of them have been decided this way [by a judge]."

The court has 21 days to reply to Newville's request.

For video of Newville's comments, as well as those of South Dakotans, check out the video via KSFY embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lawyer Wants Summary Judgment in Challenge to South Dakota Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


Teen Says Taco John's Manager Forced Him to Wear 'GAYTARD' Name Tag at Work: VIDEO

Gaytard

Tyler Brandt, a 16-year-old openly gay teen in Yankton, South Dakota, said his manager at Taco John's was verbally abusive toward him and forced him to wear a name tag that said "GAYTARD" on it, KELO reports:

Brandt"He pulled me into the office and gave me a nametag that read 'Gaytard' on it and asked me to wear it. So, I put it on because I didn't want to upset him and I felt that if I did do anything to upset him, it would cause me to lose my job because he'd be looking for ways to fire me," Brandt said.

Brandt says he tried taking it off several times, but he says the manager forced him to wear it all day in front of the customers.

"I would always stay behind the till so they couldn't see the name tag, I didn't want them to see it, but even though they couldn't see it, he would still call me by the name across the store and customers would notice," Brandt said.

Watch the report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Brandt said that he decided to quit and was mocked even as he left:

"After I handed them over my uniform, they really didn't say anything, they just said 'ok' and when we went to walk out, he lifted out his hand and said 'Nametag?' as though he deserved to have that name tag after his son labeled me," Brandt said.

Taco John's CEO Jeff Linville released a statement to KELO:

At Taco John’s, we believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. We take any accusation of workplace harassment very seriously. The type of discrimination that reportedly took place recently in the Yankton, South Dakota restaurant is deplorable. Such actions will not be tolerated by our company. Taco John’s is committed to doing all we can to make certain nothing like this happens again in any of our restaurants.

Continue reading "Teen Says Taco John's Manager Forced Him to Wear 'GAYTARD' Name Tag at Work: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged