South Dakota

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

South Dakota
No Statewide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections
See All News

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in South Dakota:

There are currently no explicit statewide non-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people in South Dakota.

The Latest on LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in South Dakota:

Work continues, in the legislature and in communities throughout South Dakota, to bring the state’s laws in line with the values of its residents, who support protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Anti-transgender legislation has been proposed repeatedly in the state – and three years in a row, from 2016 through 2018, the legislation was defeated. An anti-LGBTQ bill allowing child welfare agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people was signed in 2017.

History of LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in South Dakota:

  • 1972: The South Dakota Legislature passes the South Dakota Human Relations Act of 1972, which protects South Dakotans from employment discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, or sex. Soon after, the South Dakota Division of Human Relationships is established to enforce the law, and discrimination in housing and public accommodations becomes prohibited. 
  • 1972-2010: Local and national organizations engage in conversations about who LGBT South Dakotans are, and support for fully comprehensive non-discrimination grows.
  • April 28, 2009: Shannon County, South Dakota updates a local ordinance protecting LGBT government employees from employment discrimination, joining similar ordinances that protect from government employment discrimination based on sexual orientation in several other counties and cities. The local ordinances build momentum toward statewide legislation.
  • February 2010: For the first time, South Dakota legislators introduce legislation aimed at adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s non-discrimination laws. Although the bill does not pass, its introduction signals momentum for future fights.
  • February 16, 2016: House Bill 1008, which would force transgender students to use bathrooms that do not match the gender they live every day, passes the South Dakota Senate, following previous passage in the House. Advocates across the state and around the country, led by the ACLU of South Dakota, urge Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto the legislation.
  • March 2, 2016: Governor Daugaard, a Republican, vetoes House Bill 1008. The Governor’s veto of the bill is sustained by the legislature, by a vote of 36-29.
  • March 10, 2017: Governor Daugaard signs Senate Bill 149 into law, allowing taxpayer-funded child-placement agencies to deny services, including adoption and foster care, to qualified and loving LGBTQ individuals, based on the agency’s religious or moral convictions.
  • February 12, 2018: South Dakota lawmakers vote down a bill that would have required schools to make public their policies concerning the use of bathrooms by transgender students, the third year in a row where lawmakers proposed anti-transgender legislation – and the third year that the legislation did not become law.

Municipalities with LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in South Dakota:

The following municipalities protect city employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation:

  • Minnehaha County
  • Brookings
  • Sioux Falls

The following municipalities protect city employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity:

  • Shannon County

Last Updated February 15, 2018