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Senate Bill 128 fails

South Dakota State Capitol (NPSSD.gov)
South Dakota State Capitol (NPSSD.gov)
State Sen, Jean Hunhoff (R) (Download MP3)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) - South Dakota lawmakers today deferred a bill intended to protect free speech on sex orientation to the 41st day of the session, effectively killing the measure.

     Republican Senator Jean Hunhoff of Yankton spoke against the bill saying she's nevered learned to differentiate; a person is a person no matter who they are.  Hunhoff says the bill suggests that there is a need to protect ourselves against a segment of society.  She says she has a problem as a faith-based person that she is supposed to be afraid of people with a differing sexual orientation. She said she was appalled that the legislature was even considering the measure.

Republican Senator Jeff Monroe of Pierre says it's not a bill about gay versus non-gay.  He says the aim of the legistlation was to protect against those who would purposly choose a business to bring a suit against them based on accusations protected by the Constitution.

The bill also sought to protect businesses against lawsuits if they refuse to serve or hire a person based on their sexual orientation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee moved the bill to the 41st day on a 5 to 2 vote.