I am pleased to see that Democratic District 8 House candidate Mitch Fargen has earned the endorsement of Equality South Dakota, an organization promoting equal rights for all South Dakotans, with a focus on our LGBT neighbors (that's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender). I am disappointed to see that Fargen is the only District 8 candidate on the endorsement list.
Now I can understand how some candidates might be a bit nervous about receiving an endorsement from an LGBT organization in South Dakota. Anti-homosexuality forces were able to get a majority of voters (a darn slim one, but a majority nonetheless) to write homophobia into our Constitution in 2006. Having EqSD on your side could lose you some conservative votes—faux-conservative, perhaps, since I thought true conservatives were about protecting liberties for all citizens, not just their preferred company.
But Equality SD isn't asking for parades or tax breaks. It's asking for equal treatment under the law for citizen. EqSD's candidate survey (PDF alert) asks candidates whether they support passing the kind of employment discrimination protections that over 430 of the Fortune 500 companies already have. (Remember, those are the kinds of companies we're trying to convince to move to South Dakota.) EqSD asks candidates if they support anti-bullying legislation for schools and hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples.
Evidently Mitch Fargen didn't find it that hard to say he supports fairness in the workplace, protecting kids from violence, and letting people who love each other see each other when they're in the hospital. Thank you, Mitch. My vote for you just got easier.
Santa Crass Returns w/Holiday Hustlers, Sleigher - Dec 10 at 8 PM to Dec 11 at 1 AM Icon Lounge, Downtown Sioux Falls
2 hours ago