Throughout the summer, people across South Dakota will be celebrating the culture and diversity of the LGBTQ community at Pride Festivals across the state. Pride Festivals are a lot of fun, but they’re also a reminder that there’s still work to do in regards to LGBTQ equality in South Dakota.
That’s why the ACLU of South Dakota has launched an online advocacy campaign to honor the lives and legacies of LGBTQ South Dakotans who are devoting their time to make this state a better place for their peers.
“According to the Movement Advancement Project, there are nearly 20,000 LGBTQ people living in South Dakota. We’re introducing you to just a few,” said Adam Jorgensen, communications associate for the ACLU of South Dakota. “We hope people are inspired to take action after reading their powerful stories.”
The campaign features Cody Ingle of Sioux Falls, Peter Kleinpass of Pierre, Angelica Mercado of Sioux Falls, Nancy Rosenbrahn of Rapid City and Oliver Dickman of Yankton. Their stories will be told on the ACLU of South Dakota’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and at www.aclusd.org/lgbtqa.
In addition to their stories, the campaign also asks people to contact their legislators about the importance of opposing discriminatory LGBTQ bills in the 2020 session. In the 2019 session, four bills targeting transgender youth were debated – one in the Senate and three in the House. None of them passed, but that doesn’t mean lawmakers won’t stop trying.
“South Dakota lawmakers need to hear from their constituents year-round, not just during session,” Jorgensen said. “There’s no better time than during Pride season to start the conversation with your elected officials about why they should oppose discriminatory LGBTQ bills during the 2020 legislative session.”
About the ACLU of South Dakota
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.