Same sex marriage

Lakota People's Law Project

The Oglala Lakota Tribe has officially become the first in the region to pass laws adding protections for LGBT people. A new amendment to tribal law makes crimes against LGBT people “hate crimes” that carry strict fines and sentences.

Additional audio provided by videographer Chuck Banner of Lakota People’s Law Project

Joshua Haiar

In The Moment ... August 8, 2019 Show 633 Hour 1

Proponents are looking to pass a hate-crime amendment to tribal law on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Muffy Mousseau and Felipa Deleon join In The Moment as they were instrumental in the legalization of same sex marriage at Pine Ridge.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that same-sex marriage is legal on the Navajo Nation. SDPB has updated this story to reflect that correction.   


Same Sex Marriage Legalized For Oglala Sioux Tribe

Jul 17, 2019

Same sex marriage was legalized in the United States in 2015, but that federal decision didn’t apply to Native American Reservations. The Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe has officially recognized same-sex marriage on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 


Same-Sex Couples Exchange Vows Under Mt. Rushmore

Sep 10, 2015
Chynna Lockett

  A mass wedding was held at Mt. Rushmore over the Labor Day weekend. Seven same-sex couples gathered under the monument designed as a shrine to democracy for an afternoon ceremony.

75th Rally To See First Same Sex Wedding In 2015

Jul 6, 2015

The Sturgis Rally draws hundreds of thousands of people to the state each year the rally is also a popular place to for bikers to get married.   On big years the event can also see about 100 weddings performed during rally week both by municipal officials and by local businesses that perform and cater weddings.
This year-the rally will likely see its first same-sex wedding and one local business owner couldn’t be happier. 

The Sturgis Rally is a popular place to get hitched and that's true for this upcoming 75th rally anniversary where wedding reservations are up.

Scenarios for Same-Sex Rulings by State

Jun 24, 2015


Federal judge Karen Schreier has ruled that South Dakota’s bans against gay marriage are unconstitutional.

The ruling came out Monday, Jan. 12. Included with the ruling is a stay, so couples won’t be able to marry until the case has been resolved at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals or at the United States Supreme Court.

Attorney Joshua Newville represents six South Dakota couples who brought suit against the state. The 12 people have been legally married in other states and sued to force South Dakota to recognize those unions as legal.

South Dakota’s gay marriage bans have been declared unconstitutional. Both state law and the state constitution outlaw same-sex marriage. But Federal Judge Karen Schreier has granted summary judgment to six couples who want their out-of-state same-sex marriages honored in their home state of South Dakota. Some of those plaintiffs held a news conference in Rapid City Monday afternoon, just hours after the decision was announced.

Photo by Victoria Wicks

On Friday morning, demonstrators gather at the Rapid City federal courthouse to express their support for marriage equality. At that same hour, same-sex marriage is at issue in a Sioux Falls federal courtroom, where Judge Karen Schreier is considering the fate of a lawsuit challenging South Dakota’s statutory and constitutional bans on gay marriage.
The demontrators stand on the corner of 9th Street and St. Joe, holding signs and cheering when drivers honk in support.

Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court turned away appeals from states whose bans on same-sex marriage have been overturned by lower courts. The Supreme Court left standing three federal appeals court decisions that found states’ bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Creighton Law Professor Michael Fenner tells SDPB’s Victoria Wicks that the issue seems to be working itself out politically, and the high court likely wants to let it continue to do so.