In February 2023, South Dakota banned gender-affirming care for youth under the age of eighteen. Before the signing of this harmful anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, South Dakota was already considered a “negative equality state” by the Movement Advancement Project, scoring a -5.5 out of 42.5 points. The state lacks nondiscrimination laws and inclusive parental rights, and additionally has harmful religious exemption clauses on the books.
The onslaught of hateful legislation requires an urgent and comprehensive response, with increasing short and long-term LGBTQ+ political participation among the most impactful solutions.
That is why LGBTQ+ Victory Institute is holding its one-day LGBTQ+ Leadership Summit in Sioux Falls, where the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is high and out LGBTQ+ elected officials are few, with only one out LGBTQ+ person serving in the state legislature and only three out LGBTQ+ elected officials serving on the local level throughout the state.
This LGBTQ+ Leadership Summit is tailored to the local political environment and participants are provided networking opportunities and the tools needed to become more politically involved. The free, one-day convening curriculum includes:
- An examination of entry points into the political process;
- A review of considerations and paths to running for office;
- The challenges of political participation as an out LGBTQ+ leader; and
- An assessment of the experiences of LGBTQ+ elected officials and political leaders.
The summits include opportunities to hear from and speak with LGBTQ+ elected officials from the state and ends with a networking happy hour to build community and solidarity.
Increasing LGBTQ+ political participation and representation in elected government is essential to stopping anti-LGBTQ+ bills and moving equality forward for our community. While 0.22% of elected officials identify in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+, we need to elect 35,000 more LGBTQ+ people across all levels of elected office in order to reach equitable representation for our community.
Help us achieve equitable representation by joining the LGBTQ+ Leadership Summit in Sioux Falls.
For questions, contact Sarah Pope, Director of US Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.