Six gay and lesbian couples on Thursday
filed a federal lawsuit challenging South Dakota's ban on gay
marriage, leaving North Dakota as the only state without an active
lawsuit challenging the state's marriage ban.
Lawmakers in 1996 approved a law
prohibiting same sex couples from marrying. A decade later, voters
approved a constitutional amendment reinforcing the law.
Five of the plaintiff couples want
their out-of-state marriages recognized by South Dakota. The sixth
couple was denied a marriage license on Thursday. Two of the couples
are raising children.
Attorney General Marty Jackley, a
Republican, has already said that he will defend the ban in court.
“It is the statutory responsibility
of the attorney general to defend both our state constitution and
statutory laws, which I intend to do if a lawsuit is filed,”
told the AP earlier this month.
Gay couples can wed in 19 states, in
addition to the District of Columbia, with Oregon and Pennsylvania
being the latest.