Couple Lenny Tweeden and Wayne Rosell
on Thursday will challenge North Dakota's ban on gay couples
According to the report, Tweeden and
Rosell will become the first gay couple to ask the state for a marriage
The Fargo couple will try to get a
marriage license in Cass County.
When asked why now, the men cited
Tuesday's federal court ruling declaring California's gay marriage
ban, Proposition 8, unconstitutional.
“It kind of pushed me to follow
through on this,” Tweeden said.
“I guess because what's happening in
the rest of the country toward gay marriage and somebody's got to
step forward for it,” Rosell said.
North Dakota forbids gay and lesbian
couples from marrying. Voters in 2004 approved a constitutional
amendment which defines marriage solely as a heterosexual union and
bars the state from recognizing gay couples with civil unions. An
overwhelming majority of voters (73%) approved the measure.
The couple, together 27 years, said
they understand that their request will be denied, but added that it
remains their dream.
“This is opening the door and where
it goes from there, we will have to see,” said Tweeden, who owned
the city's first gay bar.