Add sexual orientation & gender identity to nondiscrimination policies and laws.
Equality South Dakota has launched the Workplace Diversity Project, the ultimate goal of which is to pass a state law that bans discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and housing. Right now, we’re encouraging cities, school boards, private employers, statewide and tribal groups across the state to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination laws and policies.
Smart employers — like 44 of the 50 largest employers in South Dakota — know that including sexual orientation and non-discrimination in their existing non-discrimination policy isn’t just the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense. By doing so, their LGBT employees will feel their job is more secure, and will ultimately be more loyal and productive.
In this economy, people already have enough reason to worry, without having to live in fear of discrimination because they are gay or transgender.
Add sexual orientation & Gender identity to existing hate crimes laws
Elect LGBT or LGBT-supportive candidates to public office.
In 2008, EqSD PAC became one of the 5 largest PACs in South Dakota by giving nearly $30,000 to pro-equality legislative candidates. 14 of EqSD PAC’s endorsed candidates were successful. Watch for that number to grow in 2010!
Move a majority of faith based institutions to become “open and affirming” of LGBT people.
The first step in this process is to build communication channels and community within the State. Two main efforts are underway:
- Building of an initial network of people of faith around the state that are willing to speak and work for acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in the life of their congregations. The Equality South Dakota website allows members to record their religious affiliations. All are encouraged to setup an account and indicate this information in their profile.
- Web sites for various LGBT supportive faith-based organizations have been researched and added to the EqSD website. EqSD is seeking out local contacts for these organizations (including Integrity, Dignity, Lutherans Concerned etc.) so they can be included in our network.