The Department of Health reports that 40 same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in the first month following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v Hodges. That’s less than 5% of all marriage license applications in the past month… which means that at least 1,600 heterosexual South Dakotans agree quite passionately with me that homosexuals and Justice Anthony Kennedy haven’t ruined the institution of marriage.
The first monthly post-Obergefell stats show that half of those same-sex marriage licenses came from Pennington County. Only an eighth were filed in Minnehaha County. Forty applications from eighty happy lovers is a small sample in a state of over half a million voters, but that high West River concentration of same-sex couples might suggest that Rapid City and the Black Hills aren’t the foregone conservative Republican conclusion that the GOP’s lock on Legislative districts there suggest. Remind lovers that the Democratic Party is generally the one that has stood up for their right to get married while the Republican Party is the outfit continuing to look for ways to complicate their lives, and we might pick up a few votes and a few seats.
But watch the Republicans in charge come around to accept gay marriage next week. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is about to begin, and with each marriage license putting $40 in the public coffers, the state is more than happy to direct all rally-goers to the courthouses and marriage solemnizers around Sturgis, without regard to sexual preference. And ultimately, the only ring local and state governments care about is the ring of the cash register.