The Freedom to Marry in South Dakota

Winning Marriage: June 26, 2015

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide on June 26, 2015, allowing all same-sex couples in South Dakota the ability to marry once and for all. The decision followed more than a year of marriage litigation in South Dakota.

History and the Path to Victory:

  • November 7, 2006: Opponents of the freedom to marry in South Dakota push through Amendment C, a constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry and any other legal family status. The amendment cements clearly discriminatory language into the South Dakota Constitution.
  • 2007-2014: As Americans nationwide engage in conversations about why marriage matters, national and local advocates in South Dakota take strides toward increasing understanding of same-sex couples and their families.
  • April 2013: Polling in South Dakota shows that support for the freedom to marry nearly doubled from 2004-2012, reflecting the power of the national discussion of why marriage matters.
  • May 22, 2014: Same-sex couples and counsel file a federal legal case seeking the freedom to marry in South Dakota, Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard. Read the initial complaint – and meet one of the plaintiff couples.
  • January 12, 2015: U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier rules in favor of the freedom to marry, declaring South Dakota’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The ruling is stayed pending appeal in the 8th Circuit. Read the ruling here.
  • June 26, 2015: The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of the freedom to marry, ending marriage discrimination across the country.

Groups That Actively Worked on Marriage

  • Equality South Dakota is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to achieving equality for all people with respect to their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Freedom to Marry was the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.