Media Contact

Janna Farley,

February 15, 2023

Today, House lawmakers advanced legislation that would prohibit the use of state resources in hosting lewd or lascivious content.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposes House Bill 1116.

The following statement can be attributed to Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager:

“Who decides what is considered lewd and lascivious? Government officials cannot impose their personal moral values on others. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan once said that ‘one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.’ This sums up the impossibility of developing a definition of lewd and lascivious that isn’t hopelessly vague and subjective.

"While the original intent of House Bill 1116 was to discriminate against LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities, it was amended to dampen the freedom of expression of all South Dakotans on school campuses, universities and state-funded performance centers.

“House Bill 1116 would violate everyone’s First Amendment protections. If you don’t like an entertainment event, there’s a simple solution: Don’t attend it.”


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+ and Two Spirit 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.