John M. Becker

South Dakota Will Soon Have Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Filed By John M. Becker | April 25, 2014 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, South Dakota

south-dakota-marriage-plaintiff-couple.jpgGreat news from South Dakota: the state is about to get its first freedom-to-marry lawsuit. Minnesota's St. Paul Pioneer Press reports:

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges will officiate at the weekend marriage of a lesbian couple from South Dakota as the women prepare to take part in a groundbreaking lawsuit to force their home state to recognize their union.

The couple, Nancy Robrahn, 68, and Jennie Rosenkranz, 72, say that along with two other gay South Dakota couples, they plan on filing a federal class-action lawsuit against state officials.

Robrahn and Rosenkranz will argue that South Dakota should recognize same-sex marriages when performed outside of the state. In addition, the suit will seek to overturn South Dakota's statewide same-sex marriage ban enacted by a constitutional amendment in 2006.

A spokesman for Hodges said she does not know Robrahn and Rosenkranz personally, but responded positively after those working with them reached out to her office.

Their attorney, Joshua Newville of the Minneapolis-based Madia law firm, said the couple have been together 27 years, have spent most of their lives in South Dakota, and have four children and six grandchildren.

Newville said he will file the suit within two weeks in U.S. District Court in South Dakota. He declined to specify the city where the suit would be filed.

Congratulations to the happy couple! They have my gratitude, and the gratitude of many, I'm sure -- for boldly stepping up to the plate and standing up for marriage equality.

Once this latest lawsuit drops, there will only be three non-marriage equality states without active freedom-to-marry lawsuits: Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota.

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