The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
The ban on gay men and women from serving opening in the military was repealed.
And some states allow residents to choose a gender-neutral option on their driver’s license.
While LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit rights have made some giant leaps forward, the fight for equality is not over. Discrimination is still the law of the land in many states – especially in South Dakota. Year after year, issues that matter most to South Dakotans have been ignored as some South Dakota legislators continue to attack the LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit community with bills that stoke fear and hatred amid discriminatory rhetoric.
So it’s no surprise that many people feel disillusioned by the political process. The ballot box is a viable path to a better community – but people have to vote.
That’s why the ACLU of South Dakota is working with a coalition of statewide organizations and individuals to launch the voteOUT campaign with a virtual rally on June 20. The campaign is an effort to encourage people to reconnect with their power as registered voters and move equality forward.
“LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit people make up a large portion of the voting bloc in South Dakota. Their perspective, concerns and opinions should be represented at the ballot box and on the legislative floor in Pierre,” said Adam Jorgensen, ACLU of South Dakota digital media associate. “Every eligible LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit voter must make their voices heard on issues that matter most to them so we as queer people can create a political atmosphere that supports our right to thrive.”
The voteOUT campaign launch, which will take place via the Zoom conferencing platform, will feature remarks from Cody Ingle with Sioux Falls Pride, Susan Williams with the Transformation Project and Candi Brings Plenty with the ACLU of South Dakota.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: voteOUT campaign rally
WHEN: 10 a.m. MT/11 a.m. CT June 20
WHERE: Your couch. Or the kitchen counter. Or wherever you have Internet access.
TO REGISTER: Go to www.aclusd.org/events (Participants must register to be granted Zoom access.)
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.