And then there was only one.
Six couples filed a federal lawsuit in South Dakota Thursday challenging the state’s same-sex marriage ban, leaving North Dakota as the sole state in the nation without any marriage equality litigation filed.
Voters in 2006 approved a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.
The South Dakota lawsuit alleges the couples’ constitutional rights were violated by not having their marriages approved, following essentially the same arguments made in dozens of other lawsuits filed across the country after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a major portion of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.
“Plaintiffs are residents of South Dakota who experience the same joys and challenges of family life as their heterosexual neighbors, co-workers and other community members who may marry under South Dakota law or whose lawful out-of-state marriages are recognized by South Dakota. Plaintiffs are productive, contributing citizens who support their families and nurture their children, but the state of South Dakota does not afford them the legal protections, dignity and respect provided to other families through access to the status of marriage.”
Attorney General Marty Jackley said he will defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
“It is my duty as attorney general, and case law supports, that traditional family values and definitions are determined by state law,” Jackley told the Argus Leader on Wednesday. “And if there is going to be a change, then that change should come from the voters of South Dakota at the ballot box.”