Rapid City LGBT community rallies for marriage equality - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City LGBT community rallies for marriage equality

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Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community stood together for equality Thursday night at a town hall meeting at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church.

The meeting is the first step toward challenging South Dakota's constitutional ban on same–sex marriage.

Several members of the community took turns sharing their stories of discrimination.

Nancy Robrahn and Jennie Rosenkranz were also at the meeting. They recently tried to apply for a marriage license in Rapid City, but were denied.

"We wanted to get married here in South Dakota and, of course, the state law says that's not possible. But we wanted to go to the courthouse and challenge it," Robrahn said.

The couple says they plan to continue fighting for marriage equality. But their fight will first take them to Minnesota. They plan to get married in Minneapolis, and then come back to South Dakota and apply for state benefits.

"Because South Dakota doesn't recognize marriage, we're going to be denied. And that's when we're going to take South Dakota to court for not recognizing our marriage license from Minnesota," Robrahn said.

David Patton, who organized Thursday's meeting, says legislative steps need to be taken.

"It's time for this movement to stop reacting every time a mean spiteful bill comes forward and we're going to start to be proactive. To move forward towards what the community wants. And what the community wants is full equality for all people of South Dakota," Patton said. "The U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court has clearly said that this type of discrimination is wrong."

Robrahn and Rosenkranz say they have received a lot of support from the community. And not just the gay community.

"The support all day long has been phenomenal. The Facebook page has been lighting up all day long. Everybody is excited, they're glad to see it happening," Robrahn said.

The couple, who have been together for 27 years, says people have been congratulating them on their courage. But they don't feel courageous. They say they are just doing the right thing.

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