The South Dakota Democratic Party continues to signal that 2014 may not be a year of Blue Dog campaigning. Party chair Deb Knecht bases her latest fundraising pitch on a declaration of support for Nancy Robrahn and Jennie Rozenkranz's pending challenge to South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban:
It's important that we raise our voices in support of these two brave women. Public opinion across the country is shifting on the issue of civil unions. More people support marriage equality than ever before. And as the Rapid City Journal reports, judges in several states—including Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Texas—have struck down state bans as unconstitutional.
Do you support same sex couples like Nancy and Jennie? We do! Help us secure and protect the rights of ALL South Dakotans. Give to the SDDP today.
Let's be loud in our support for marriage equality. Let's stand together. Let's make sure South Dakota is on the right side of history [Deb Knecht, fundraising e-mail, South Dakota Democratic Party, 2014.03.14].
The SDDP has voiced strong support for marriage equality since before the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act last summer. The party stood for marriage equality in 2012; House candidate Matt Varilek's inability to get on that message cost him support from some Democrats. Some liberal observers still hold a grudge against Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for supporting Constitutional amendments prohibiting gay marriage (though she also stood against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation). The South Dakota Democratic Party appears to be realizing that its base is getting broader, and that issues usually dismissed as left-wing may be occupying a greater portion of the center.
It will be instructive to see if current Democratic House candidate Corinna Robinson shows the same courage as the state party in supporting marriage equality. Her campaign website is still thinner on issues than some State House candidates'.