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Sioux Falls Tables LGBTQ Ordinance

The Sioux Falls City Council tabled two measures that deal with the rights of LGBTQ individuals. The proposed ordinances make it illegal for employers or landlords to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation or preference.

The first measure bans hiring discrimination for city employees. The other proposal bars landlords, private employers and business owners from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people. City Council member Christine Erickson says the measures were tabled after talks with State Attorney General Marty Jackley.

“It is somewhat unprecedented for a city to be a trailblazer on an issue like this and usually we look for the state’s direction and also the federal government’s when it comes to an issue of this magnitude. And so we’re really looking for that direction from the state and making sure we are working together as a whole with the state and having consistence linguist through the state of South Dakota. And not just on a city by city basis,” says Erickson.

However, not everyone agrees that the measures should be put on hold. City Council member Michelle Erpenbach was the only member to vote no on tabling both proposals. She says this decision should be kept local.

“Let’s make these decisions for ourselves. Let’s look at our own values and our own understanding of the people we live with, the people who are our neighbors and friends. Let’s make these decisions for ourselves. For me that’s it, it’s some fear some uncertainty, and really the whole complication of what this whole topic is about for so many people,” says Erpenbach.

Both Erickson and Erpenbach agree it will take time before the process works itself out. Erpenbach hopes at least one of the measures could come back for a vote by the fall.