News & Updates

By: Chelsea Gilbertson, ACLU Intern

On Saturday, the ACLU of South Dakota team was on hand for the 2015 Sioux Falls Pride festival, hosted by The Center for Equality. Our booth welcomed festival goers with stickers, buttons, Know Your Rights pamphlets, and the infamous PRIDE frame. We had a blast celebrating love, equality, and the Sioux Falls area LGBT community!

June 15, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit challenging a South Dakota law that moved the deadline for new political parties striving for a place on the 2016 ballot.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of South Dakota's Libertarian Party and Constitution Party, challenges a section of the law that shifted the deadline for new parties to submit declarations to participate in primary elections backward by four weeks from the last Tuesday in March prior to the date of the primary election to the first Tuesday in March. The plaintiffs are asking the deadline be set for no earlier than March 29 for a party that wants to participate in South Dakotas primary election, and August 1 for a party that does not need to participate in a primary election.

Girls are required to wear dresses. Boys are required to wear pants.

That statement may sound like it's coming from 1950, but some school districts across the United States have tried to enforce antiquated dress codes telling students exactly how they should dress for their high school graduations. They require girls to wear dresses or skirts and boys to wear pants. This is more than just a throwback to a bygone era; it's an unlawful gender-based distinction.

Each year, the South Dakota Legislature convenes in January and works through March crafting, debating, and passing laws governing our state. Throughout its history, the ACLU of South Dakota has kept tabs on the goings-on in Pierre. This year, we decided to send our Policy Director as a full-time lobbyist to represent the ACLU and advocate for civil rights and civil liberties.

It's not often that we get to talk about major civil liberties victories after the legislative session, but with hard work and determination we saw lots of bad bills go down in flames!

February 24, 2015

CONTACT: Heather Smith, ACLU of South Dakota, 605-332-2508,

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.

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