LGBT group meets with candidates for Senate, Governor

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With only weeks to go before November 4th election, candidates are getting ready and so are South Dakota voters.

One question on many of their minds: where do the candidates stand on topics concerning the LGBT, Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender, community? Members of a nationally-known organization, PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), held a local meeting to find out just that, Sunday at the Spirit of Peace Church on South Cliff Avenue. They invited candidates for U.S. Senate and South Dakota Governor to share their stance on related issues and legislation.

The non-partisan group invited all candidates for Senate and Governor to the event. U.S. Senate Candidates Independent Larry Pressler and Democrat Rick Weiland were there as well as South Dakota Governor candidate, Democrat Susan Wismer and her running mate Suzy Blake. They were each given five minutes to discuss their stance on LGBT-related topics, i.e. same-sex marriage, and also took questions from the audience.

While each of the candidates vary in background and political views, they all agreed and made known their support for the LGBT community and for equal rights. People who were at the meeting say it was an important day for them and for their candidates.

"It tells us about their character and where they stand as far as diversity across the board, not just LGBT issues but any minority that needs extra services," PFLAG Sioux Falls Director Terri Carlson said.

"It's awesome they're coming to speak out for equal rights. It's unfortunate that the republican candidates couldn't make it today. It's awesome that we can have this discussion and for them to show their support," Center for Equality Director Thomas Christiansen said.

Carlson reached out to each of the candidates in mid-June. Members of the Rounds and Daugaard campaigns declined the invitation.

For more information about PFLAG National and PFLAG Sioux Falls' chapter, visit the link at the right side of this page.