The Black Hills Center for Equality (BHCFE), in partnership with numerous equality groups in South Dakota (including Equality South Dakota), is hosting the first annual Dakotas Equality Summit on the 16th and 17th of January 2015 at the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza in Rapid City, South Dakota. The objective of this conference is to create an opportunity for LGBT individuals, families, and allies, as well as any interested person, to come together for fellowship, learning and growing in their everyday lives.
A social will begin at 6:00 pm MST, on Friday, January 16th with music and appetizers. On Saturday, January 17th beginning 9:00 am, David Patton, BHCFE Board President, will kick off the summit followed by breakout sessions focusing on building support systems, understanding stress, workplace and life protections, campaign involvement and many more. That evening our keynote speaker, Judy Shepard will take the stage to share her inspirational story of how the tragic loss of her son lead her to begin advocacy.
The registration fee to participate is $40 through December 31 (increasing to $50 January 1) which includes breakfast, lunch and daycare during breakout sessions in addition to admission to the pre-event social on Friday evening and after-event celebration Saturday evening. A limited number of volunteer participants can register paying only $15
For more information on the workshops, how to register and book the hotel room, please visit:
Equality South Dakota cannot directly support candidates. As we are a 501-c-4 organization as classified by the IRS, we are limited to educating and lobbying officials, and are barred from directly participating in partisan elections.
However the EqSD PAC can and does!
Equality South Dakota Political Action Committee has posted a voting guide on its website http://pac.eqsd.org/
EqSD PAC is endorsing Susan Wismer, Robin Page and several other legislative candidates. Check the PAC website for more information on the endorsements and links to the candidates websites.
Early voting has started. You can go to your local county auditor’s office and vote now. Election day is November 4. Equal rights will be guaranteed through the legislative process so it is essential to elect candidates that support our issues.
Check registration NOW at http://bit.ly/voterchecksd
Not registered? The deadline is Oct 20 - do it today! http://bit.ly/VoteRegSD
A great article in the Argus today, reports on a recent PFLAG event in Sioux Falls is simply awesome (Same-sex couples wed elsewhere call for end to S.D. ban, Argus 9/15/2014). Lynn, Monica, Greg, and Mark clearly made an impression:
Two of the six couples who filed the marriage equality lawsuit in South Dakota, along with one of their lawyers, stood in front of parents, family and friends Sunday to share their life stories and dreams of the future.
They were the keynote speakers at the Parent, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays event to move equality forward at Spirit of Peace Church, 6509 S. Cliff Ave.
"When will the day come when it's not gay marriage and it becomes just marriage?" Monica Serling-Swank said while standing next to her wife, Lynn, and fellow plaintiffs Greg Kniffen and Mark Church.
Monica had the money quote, right at the end:
"We have a life commitment to each other," Monica Serling-Swank said while looking at Lynn. "Our love is the same as everyone else's."
This event will be held in Sioux Falls on Friday, September 26, 2014