Sioux Falls, S.D. Today, the House State Affairs Committee voted 10-3 to send HB1220 to the 41st day, effectively killing a bill that would have allowed people and corporations to take advantage and claim that their religion gives them the right to ignore virtually any law.
"We're ecstatic this bill died in committee today. It didn't represent South Dakotans values of love and acceptance and it wasn't good for our state," Heather Smith, executive director for the ACLU of South Dakota. "The unintended consequences of HB 1220 were far reaching, for example a first responder would be able to refuse service to a person in need or a high school guidance counselor would have been permitted to refuse to counsel a gay student because of their personal beliefs."
"Religious freedom is one of our country's fundamental values, and its protected in the state and federal constitution already. Under the guise of religious freedom, supporters of this bill made their intent clear: they wanted discrimination to be enshrined in South Dakota law as an acceptable practice," said Smith. "Its failure in committee today is a big step toward ensuring that religion can't be used to harm others."