Human Rights

The South Dakota Democratic Party is a party of inclusiveness. We recognize that South Dakota is a global and multicultural community. Each individual brings a special gift to the community. We prosper when we are all in it together. We believe in the principles of dignity, self-determination, equal opportunity, justice, and quality of life.

In order to promote a more open, civil society, we support the following:

• A commitment to meeting every individual’s basic human needs and to promote respect for our diverse cultures, lifestyles, spirituality, and viewpoints.

• The right to live, work, and worship within a community without fear of discrimination.

• Elimination of racial profiling.

• The separation of church and state.

• The necessity for medical providers, especially those receiving public funds, to render impartial and dignified treatment without regard to gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, age, economic status, religion, or marital status.

• Adequate state and local funding of all domestic violence shelters, sexual assault centers, transitional housing, and visitation centers.

• Quality, affordable childcare that meets nationally accepted health and safety standards.

• To the extent it is commensurate with public safety, providing reasonable alternatives to incarceration for offenders who would benefit from rehabilitation and behavioral change programs.

• Rehabilitation of juvenile offenders protecting their human rights and safety, by assisting offenders and their families to successfully return them to society, and through development of innovative programs such as restorative justice and teen court.

• Increasing advocacy services for crime victims and witnesses.

• Full implementation and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and appropriate programs to ensure the dignity and support of persons with disabilities.

• Increasing awareness of and providing appropriate staffing and funding for the South Dakota Human Rights Commission.

• The addition of age, sexual orientation, veterans’ status, and gender identity as protected classes under state employment and housing discrimination laws.

• Full equality at national, state, and local levels for all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Full equality includes, but is not limited to,: non-discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, marriage equality, adoption rights, and domestic partner benefits.

• Promoting equal voting access for all citizens and eliminating obstacles that discourage voter participation. Protecting Native American voting rights by expending federal education outreach funds from the Help America Vote Act.

• The belief that medical care is a basic human right. We support universal access to medical care and the expansion of Medicaid.

• The repeal of the death penalty.

• We believe every citizen deserves a secure, healthy and dignified retirement.

• A commitment to assure that every child has access to a first-class public education.

• Every woman should be paid the same as a man for the same work.

• Every woman has the right to make her own medical decisions.

• The right to bear arms is an important part of our heritage subject to reasonable restrictions.

• Full funding and strong enforcement of laws dealing with human trafficking.

• End-of-life freedom of choice.

• Actions to address the affordable housing shortages in our local communities and across the state.

• Every citizen has the right and access to safe and clean drinking water.