A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

South Dakota same-sex marriage ban challenged

[JURIST] Six couples filed a federal lawsuit [complaint] Thursday challenging South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder]. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of South Dakota [official website], challenges a law [text] passed by the legislature in 1996 and a constitutional amendment [text] approved by voters in 2006. The suit claims that the laws violate the equal protection, due process and right to travel clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment [text] to the US Constitution. According to the complaint, "The marriage bans inflict serious and irreparable harms upon same-sex couples and their children that cannot be explained by reference to any legitimate governmental interest."

There has been a flurry of litigation surrounding same-sex marriage since the US Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive] last June. Thursday's lawsuit leaves North Dakota as the only state with a same-sex marriage ban that is not facing a legal challenge. Earlier this week same-sex couples challenged Montana's same-sex marriage ban, and a federal judge struck down bans in Oregon and Pennsylvania [JURIST reports].

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.