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HRC rates South Dakota cities

measurementHuman Rights Campaign has released their Municipal Equality Index for cities across the Nation. The MEI rates cities on 5 broad categories concerning LGBTQ+ issues:

  1. Non-discrimination laws
  2. Municipality’s employment policies
  3. Inclusiveness of city services
  4. Law enforcement
  5. Municipal leadership on matters of equality

The ratings (with 100 being a perfect score) for cities in South Dakota are:

  • Brookings – 52
  • Sioux Falls – 28
  • Rapid City – 22
  • Aberdeen – 18
  • Watertown – 18
  • Vermillion – 15
  • Pierre – 12

Looks like we have some work to do. Join us!

How Your Organization can get Involved

An Opportunity to Learn how your Organization can get Involved

Did you know that we present to allied organizations and communities of faith? We have been doing this for several years, but recently kicked up our efforts and have been presenting more frequently. Recent presentations include a presentation to the student senate at SDSU, and presentations in Rapid City to Women Evolving and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. If you would like us to present to your organization, please contact us at

Gender Identity Gets Added to Policies

Growing Trend for Businesses and Cities to add Gender Identity to their Non-Discrimination Policies

At least 135 cities currently have policies in place that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. This number has grown at a fast pace of over 25% in the last two years. Does your city or town have this policy in place? If not, would you like to work with us in asking them to add this?

There is also a trend of businesses adding gender identity to their non-discrimination policies. It began when Lucent Technologies amended their policy to include gender identity in 1997 and Apple joined suit in 1998. In 2002, The Human Rights Campaign released their first Corporate Equality Index it revealed that only 5% of businesses surveyed had non-discrimination policies that included gender identity. Today that number has grown to 76% of businesses surveyed and 79% include gender identity in diversity training as well.

The good news is this trend is happening right here at home in South Dakota. At least 26 of the leading companies in South Dakota have inclusive policies including gender identity. Equality South Dakota has been leading the way by reaching out to businesses in our state to encourage them to add gender identity to their policies. Is your place of employment on the list? If not, would you like to work with us to encourage your business to add gender identity? Email us at