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Dakotas Equality Summit in January Offers Democrats Network-Building Opportunity

Yesterday I mentioned that a few groups are brewing up ideas to help the Democratic Party regain its footing in South Dakota. Among the party-building ideas I haven't mentioned yet is to take advantage of the energy of existing groups with a natural (if unstated for 501(c)3 purposes) affinity for the Demcoratic platform.

Among such logical sources of strength are the Black Hills Center for Equality and its allies, who are hosting the first annual Dakotas Equality Summit January 16–17 in Rapid City:

The Black Hills Center for Equality (BHCFE), in partnership with numerous equality groups in South Dakota, is hosting the first annual Dakotas Equality Summit on the 16th and 17th of January at the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza in Rapid City, South Dakota. According to the BHCFE, 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, 2014 and will increase to $50 on January 1, 2015. Registration includes admission to the pre-event social on Friday, with complimentary appetizers and music, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, as well as daycare during the breakout sessions, admission to the keynote speaker, and the after-event celebration Saturday evening. A limited number of volunteer participants can register paying only $15 [Black Hills Center for Equality, press release, 2014.11.11].

The Dakotas Equality Summit is not and should not be a partisan affair. Every South Dakotan interested in defending liberty and equality has a stake in the topics that summit participants will discuss.

But this event will also provide Democratic reformers a valuable opportunity to network with potential allies in the fight for equality right on the doorstep of homophobic Senator Phil Jensen's legislative district. (Check out the map: Rushmore Plaza sits right at the border of the chunk of North Rapid gerrymandered into District 33.) Mark the calendar, Dems, and go make useful friends!

* * *

Mike Rounds and John Thune holding hands, Banner image, SDGOP spin blog Dakota War College, snapped 2014.11.12
Banner image, SDGOP spin blog Dakota War College, snapped 2014.11.12

But forgive me if I try to make LGBT equality sound like a purely partisan issue. After all, even the most rabid Republican spinsters agree that two men ought to be able to hold hands in front of an American flag and be recognized as real and equal South Dakotans.


  1. mike from iowa 2014.11.12

    C'mon dubya. Show Prince Bandar Butt Buddy how you rilly feel about men.

    Sorry,but I couldn't resist.

  2. bearcreekbat 2014.11.12

    Nice take on the Rounds Thune photo op Cory. You got a big laugh out of me this a.m.

  3. mikeyc, that's me! 2014.11.12

    Good thing MMR enjoys holding hands. He and Rod Blagojevich might become bunk buddies.

  4. John Hess 2014.11.12

    The loud support of the LGBT community would not help any candidate in South Dakota. Would probably be more of a detriment similar to how Weiland felt about out of state money. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but just how it would be.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.12

    John, I think you are right. And that's wrong.

  6. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.12

    You're right, it would not help any particular candidate.

    But public and political for the LGBT community is important too.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.13

    John, like Roger and Deb, I agree on the practical facts of what you are saying. I nonetheless offer the LGBT community my support, welcome their support in my blogging and political efforts, and will proclaim that support loudly to change the discourse.

Comments are closed.