Rapid City organizations protest against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric

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The Family Heritage Alliance, a local nonprofit Christian advocacy group, held its annual STAND fund raising banquet Tuesday.

Jason and David Benham, twin Christian authors who say they're devoted to protect and promote faith, family and freedom, were the keynote speakers. Their presence however, caused some controversy in the community

A handful of people with Queers United for Empowerment and Equal Rights Inc. (QUEER South Dakota), a local LGBTQ support group, joined with Indivisible Rapid City to demonstrate against the event outside the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. According to their Facebook page, Indivisible Rapid City describes themselves as a group of progressives using non-violent and focused pressure to resist the current administration's regressive policies to ensure freedom, equality, liberty, and justice for all.

QUEER South Dakota leaders said the rhetoric used by the Benham brothers and the Family Heritage Alliance has been hurtful to the LGBTQ community, locally and nationally. QUEER South Dakota and Indivisible Rapid City also condemned the Pennington County Republican Party for sharing the banquet event on its Facebook page.

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Nancy Rosenbrahn, a board member of QUEER South Dakota, expressed dissatisfaction with the Family Heritage Alliance.

“The hate level is rising. We're going to see more suicides [of LGBTQ community members]; we're going to see more murders,” Rosenbrahn said. “It's got to stop. Our country is better than this. We're better than this.”

NewsCenter1 contacted the Family Heritage Alliance for comment and permission to cover the fund raising banquet, but was denied access by the group.

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