News & Updates

Calling all students: it's pop quiz time! Let's find out if you know your religious freedom rights at school. Imagine the following scenario: an assembly is about to take place at a local public school. It features a youth minister who preaches to students and a rock band playing religious songs. Several atheist students feel uncomfortable going to the assembly because it will include prayer. Their teacher tells them they can just watch a movie during the assembly period instead.

A PDF copy of this letter is available here

July 8, 2015
To: Marty J. Jackley, Esq.
Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
1302 E Hwy 14, Suite 1
Pierre, SD 57501

Re: Religion-Based Exemptions for Public Officials Authorized to Issue Marriage Licenses

Dear Attorney General Jackley,

We write to you regarding a hypothetical situation described in the July 2, 2015, ARGUS LEADER.  In the article, you are quoted as saying that South Dakota county officials may permit another employee to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple if the county employee authorized to issue a license has a religion-based objection to doing so. See Assoc. Press, Workers can have someone else issue marriage license, ARGUS LEADER, July 2, 2015.  You go on to state that if no other county official is authorized to issue the license, another county or the state could do so. Id.  The article goes to quote you describing this as a "commonsense solution" to the hypothetical that would not violate the rights of the couple seeking a license or the county employee. Id.
 What a fabulous way to wrap up Pride month!

The news was impossible to miss: Last week the Supreme Court declared state marriage bans to be unconstitutional, in a historic win for equality. The ACLU of South Dakota, with help from The Center for Equality, hosted a pop-up celebration in downtown Sioux Falls for the landmark win for marriage equality. We wanted to be the first to hand out wedding cake and offer our congratulations to the couples whose marriage will now be recognized in all 50 states.

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.

PO Box 1170
Sioux Falls, SD 57101
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