Legislature 2016: Equality Wins

The South Dakota Legislative Session came  to a close last Friday — with a rainbow smiling over the State Capitol!
Details below:
  • Victory in Pierre 2016
  • Celebrating Equality Heroes
  • Local and National groups
  • What’s next: the 2016 election

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PFund video reminds us why we’re here

A great reminder of why we members of Equality South Dakota do what we do, year in and year out. Give it a view:


PFund Equality South Dakota from Angela Jimenez on Vimeo.

A short video documentary about one of the PFund Foundation's 2015 grantee partners, Equality South Dakota, doing a legislative day in Pierre, South Dakota lobbying for LGBTQ equality. PFund is the community LGBTQ foundation in Wisonsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota.

The Dakotas’ Equality Summit is in 4 weeks

The Dakotas’ Equality Summit is in 4 weeks…
We want to add your name to the event registration.

The 2nd Annual Dakotas’ Equality Summit will be held September 9-10, 2016 at the Holiday Inn, Downtown Sioux Falls, SD. 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. This is a collaborative effort from individuals and all of the LGBT organizations in the state of South Dakota, coming together to empower our communities.

The registration fee to participate is $80. Registration includes admission to the kickoff on Friday with actor  Leslie Jordan, and complimentary appetizers. Saturday will feature a combination of group and breakout sessions as wells as breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday. A limited number of scholarships are available.

For more info and to register go to   http://equalitysummit.com

2016 Dakotas’ Equality Summit focuses on connecting communities through stories

A gathering of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and their allies from throughout North and South Dakota is set for September 9 and 10 in Sioux Falls.

The Summit will help connect communities through stories. It will create and allow a voice, a time for individual storytelling, and promote strength among attendees. A bevy of local and national speakers will take part in this event.

Break-out sessions, featured speakers, and entertainment are part of the Summit.

Keynote speaker Leslie Jordan kicks off the Summit with his storytelling on Friday evening, September 9. Jordon has a long list of film and theater appearances. He is a 2006 Emmy Award winner for Will and Grace, and appeared in The Help in 2012.

Saturday, September 10 presenters include South Dakotan Jackie Gilchrist Freidrichsen, who will tell the story of her son, the late Chase Luke.

Jeff Walker, who has lived with HIV for five years, will speak during lunch. In his story he will talk about how he has come from a state of homelessness and isolation into a life filled with support, love and personal success.

Saturday afternoon speakers include Brett Ray, author of My Name is Brett: Truths from a Trans Christian. He holds a Master’s of Theological Studies from Duke University Divinity School in Durham NC. His is a story that takes place at the intersection of a Christian and queer identity and encompasses addiction and recovery, rebirth and discovery.

Mara Keisling is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. Mara is a transgender-identified woman and a parent. She is one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality.

Dinner speaker Annie Loyd wraps up Summit presentations with her story and a presentation entitled “This is Your Challenge.” Loyd is a visionary who builds coalitions and finds solutions even in communities with a long history of conflict. She has acquired a vast understanding of best practices for meeting community, state, national and global challenges.

A celebration with Amy and Freddie finishes off the evening. Music and comedy legends Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen have performed together for 20 years across the United States and in over 20 countries.

Dakotas’ Equality Summit is a collaboration of individuals and equality groups throughout the state including The Center for Equality, Equality South Dakota, The Black Hills Center for Equality, and Common Ground Diversity Group.

Sponsors include Salmen Farms and Organs, The Center for Equality, Human Rights Campaign and PFLAG.

The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Sioux Falls City Centre.

Dakotas’ Equality Summit is found on Facebook as “Dakotas’ Equality Summit.”

Registration is found on-line at http://equalitysummit.com.

EqSD at Sioux Falls Pride!

Attendees at Sioux Falls Pride on June 18 were intrigued with Equality South Dakota’s “potty police” booth.   The potty police theme directed the voters attention to this last legislative session whereby legislators passed HB 1008 (the transgender bathroom bill) which was voted by Governor Daugaard.

EqSD handed out their tally of the legislators voting record on LGBT bills.  (You can get it here!)

Some Pride attendees opted to have their photo taken with our fine toilet:

SF Pic 4 SF Pic 3SF Pic 1

EqSD also had a game whereby kiddies tossed ping-pong balls into a child’s potty chair to win candy.

Equality South Dakota booth at SuFu Price 2016

Lawrence, Mandie, and Miller staff the booth



Many thanks to Mandie of Dakota Dunes and Miller from Rapid City for helping to design and staff EqSD’s booth.

The Falls in color for Pride!

The Falls in color for Pride!

(many thanks to EqSD chair Lawrence Navotny for the report)