South Dakota


Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment


On January 12, 2015, United States District Court Judge Karen E. Schreier ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in the case Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard, declaring the state's ban on marriage unconstitutional. This ruling is stayed pending appeal.


In 2006, South Dakota voters approved Amendment C, a constitutional amendment that bans the state from recognizing or performing marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships between same-sex couples.


  • 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 is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
  • Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. 


Support for the freedom to marry has increased dramatically in the past 8 years, with 45% of the state's residents now supporting marriage. In 2004, just 24% were supportive. (Williams Institute, 2012)   


According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 714 same-sex couples are living in South Dakota, representing 2.2 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Blog Posts Related to South Dakota

Federal judge in South Dakota rules in favor of the freedom to marry

Today, January 12, United States District Court Judge Karen E. Schreier ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in South Dakota, declaring the state's ban on marriage between same-sex couples unconstitutional.

Finishing the Job: With 15 states left to win, here’s how marriage is moving forward

Freedom to Marry has always been committed to winning marriage for same-sex couples nationwide - and now, as momentum surges across the country, it is more important for supporters to do all they can to speak out for the freedom to marry nationwide. Here's what's going on in the 15 where same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry.

Federal judge allows marriage case to proceed in South Dakota, denying roadblock attempt

On Friday, November 14, United States District Court Judge Karen Schreier denied the state of South Dakota's motion to dismiss a federal legal case seeking the freedom to marry, Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard.

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Resources Related to South Dakota

Pew Poll Finds Growing Support for Freedom to Marry Among Evangelicals, Majority Support Among Youth

A comprehensive Pew poll found majority support for the freedom to marry among young people, college graduates and Catholics, with growing support among all other religious categories.

South Dakota Census Snapshot

Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in South Dakota.

Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey

Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".

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