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GOP lawmaker: businesses should be allowed to deny service to black people, gays

'If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance...'

By
JC Sevcik
South Dakota State Senator Phil Jensen, Republican.
South Dakota State Senator Phil Jensen, Republican.

In an interview with the Rapid City Journal on Sunday, South Dakota State Senator Phil Jensen, a Republican representing the state’s 33rd district, said he believes that businesses should be allowed to refuse service to customers based on their race, claiming the free market would sort out civil rights and discrimination on its own.

"If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them,” the senator said.

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This stance of advocating for discrimination under the guise of free speech isn’t new for Jensen, a senator with a long track record of extremely conservative legislative initiatives. In January, Jensen introduced SB128, an anti-LGBT bill that would have permitted South Dakota businesses and residents to refuse services to customers based on their sexual orientation.

Some of Jensen’s other failed legislation includes a bill that would have mandated drug testing of welfare recipients, a bill that would have amended the definition of justifiable homicide in such a way as to potentially legalize the killing of doctors who perform abortions, a bill that would have guaranteed that "parents may direct the rearing of their children without undue governmental infringement,” and a bill that would urge the federal government "to enforce United States immigration laws and not grant amnesty to those who have entered the United States illegally."

RELATED Christian hotel owners to go to European Court in discrimination case

What’s next for the senator?

According to his senate web page, he has a bill in the works that would declare South Dakota sovereign from federal gun laws.

[Rapid City Journal] [Phil Jensen] [SB 128]

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