Group begins work to legalize gay marriage in South Dakota - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Group begins work to legalize gay marriage in South Dakota

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 Over the next few months, a group here in South Dakota is hoping to earn your signature on a petition which would begin clearing the way to make same sex marriage legal here in the state.
 They say it is a civil rights movement...and to get the 32,000 signatures needed will require changing a lot of minds and a lot of hearts.
 Tonight, you'll meet the woman behind this movement and a lesbian couple who says they want the legal right to openly share their love.

 Club David in Sioux Falls on a Wednesday night.
 The place is busy with people who are looking to unwind.
 Some of those people are gays and lesbians and they are here not only for a drink and to relax....but to also hopefully begin the process of making their lives better.
 
 "This petition means being with somebody that I love and it being accepted rather than being discriminated against and hated on for several years as it has been." Jennifer Knoebel and her partner Amanda Brown are in an exclusive, committed relationship with one another.
 They enjoy living in South Dakota. They say what they don't enjoy is feeling like second class citizens because of who they choose to love.
 Jennifer and Amanda want to get married here....but they can't . and if they get married in a state where same sex marriage is legal it won't matter...because South Dakota law won't recognize it.

 "And the constitution currently says that marriage is between one man and one woman. We're trying to get that changed." Britney Riessen is the woman behind the petition to amend the state constitution...to open the way for gay marriage and to open South Dakota to what she says is a more accepting and understanding environment for all of it's residents...not just some of them. "I was sitting in my chair at home and I find myself complaining about how many gay haters there are out there right now and how many people there are who are completely against us and how many people don't take the time to get to know us....they just judge automatically.."

 Right now, Britney is looking for venues open to hosting a petition drive for this effort. Club David was open to it last Wednesday, when this video was recorded.
 And Amanda Brown, who wants to marry her girlfriend Jennifer Knoebel...says every name on the petition is one step closer to her personal dream becoming a reality. "Right now it may not be a lot but it's a lot to us that we already have that amount of people backing it up in this fight."

 And one more word from petition organizer Britney Riessen....who has a question she wants everyone in South Dakota to think about. "I would really like someone to tell me the difference between your love and our love. Our love isn't any different."

 There is a Facebook page that has been set up in support on this petition drive. if you would like to see it, click on this link here

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