John M. Becker

BREAKING: North Dakota Marriage Suit Filed

Filed By John M. Becker | June 06, 2014 2:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, lawsuit, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, North Dakota, same-sex marriage

The Associated Press has just reported that a lawsuit has been filed in North Dakota challenging the constitutionality of that state's 2004 voter-approved marriage discrimination amendment.

North Dakota's marriage ban was the last in the country without a legal challenge. With the filing of this case, every state in the Union either has marriage equality or a court case aiming to secure it.


Updates on this developing story are after the jump.

UPDATE: The AP has more. Looks like, as predicted, today's suit was filed by the same lawyer who's also challenging South Dakota's marriage ban:

Seven couples have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage in North Dakota, the last remaining state without a court challenge.

The clerk of the court confirmed that the lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Fargo.

It challenges both North Dakota's constitutional ban on gay marriage and its refusal to recognize marriages of same-sex couples who legally wed in other states...

Minneapolis-based attorney Josh Newville, who is representing the North Dakota couples, also filed a lawsuit on behalf of South Dakota couples in May.

David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement writes that the complaint, which numbers 49 pages and argues 160 specific points, challenges North Dakota's marriage discrimination amendment on equal protection, due process, and right-to-travel grounds.

From Badash's report:

Charging that "enforcement of the marriage bans impermissibly infringes on Plaintiffs' choice of whom to marry and their ability to have their marriages recognized, interfering with a core, life-altering, and constitutionally protected choice," the lawsuit argues the "right to marry the unique person of one's choice and to direct the course of one's life in this intimate realm without undue government restriction is one of the fundamental liberty interests protected for all by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

The lawsuit also argues that the "State's interest in the welfare of children parented by same-sex couples is as great as its interest in the welfare of any other children. The family security that comes from the State's official recognition and support is no less important for same-sex parents and their children than it is for different-sex parents and their children."

Below is a copy of the complaint, via Equality Case Files:

3:14-cv-00057 #1 Complaint by Equality Case Files

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