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Seven couples sue N.D. over constitutional ban on same sex marriage

June 6, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
The AP is reporting that seven North Dakota couples have filed a lawsuit challenging North Dakota's ban on gay marriage. North Dakota is the last state to have such a challenge filed, which probably isn't too surprising given that voters in the state overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban on the practice.

Still, it's more than obvious that gay marriage will be legal throughout the land sooner rather than later.

Gay marriage is currently legal in 19 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Illinois and the District of Columbia. District court judges have overturned bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Michigan, Idaho, Arkansas, and Texas, but gay marriage is on hold until appellate courts have ruled on appeals. Every other state, now including North Dakota, are being sued over constitutional bans or state laws against same sex marriage. I would not be surprised to see a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the next year or two declaring bans on same sex marriage unconstitutional.

The question after that is what kind of country will we have? I hope it will be a live and let live sort of country, with everyone free to marry and live their lives as they please without undue comment from neighbors and employers. That ought to apply equally to people who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds and teach their children that marriage should be only between a man and a woman.

But I imagine that will be a tricky proposition, particularly in schools. Teachers in this state, like in other places, will probably have to find a way to teach kids with two mommies or two daddies in a class with kids whose parents are adamantly against their children learning anything positive about gay marriage. Legalizing gay marriage will likely push the elementary and high school curricula further towards a positive portrayal of same sex couples. That has been the case in states like Massachusetts, where a court ruling refused to allow parents to opt their kids out of a story hour involving the reading of a book about two gay penguins. Personally, I question that court decision and would like to see the state pass a law requiring schools to offer kids alternative assignments when parents object to certain materials.

What changes do you foresee if gay marriage is legalized in this state?


Article Comments



Jun-09-14 11:05 AM

It's telling that now when the issue comes up of an adult's right to marry whoever he or she wants -- right-wingers start screaming about lesson plans for school children.

The bigots are forced to turn this into a classroom issue because they know that their old "it's in the Bible" argument is a big loser.

The Bible also condemns football, fortune telling, tattoos, Polyester, shellfish . . . oh, and DIVORCE.

Needless to say, we can't teach children that divorced parents are all going to burn in Hades -- since half of straight marriages end in divorce.


Jun-07-14 7:58 AM

By who cares I mean who cares if they marry and fornicate all day and night for the rest of time. It's not our business what people do with their private parts in their private lives.


Jun-07-14 7:57 AM

Who cares about the gay folks lets talk about the Right to Travel by the modern means of the day.


Jun-06-14 8:30 PM

To answer your questions seriously -- no, freedom of religion would prevent churches from being required to marry gay couples. However, this is not a theocracy; the government is secular. There is a difference between the secular and the religious. This is a country in which the rights of the minority are protected, even when the majority vehemently disagrees with granting them a right on moral grounds. The couples filing suit have made the claim that North Dakota's constitutional amendment denies them equal protection, due process and the right to travel -- all rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.


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