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North Dakota same-sex marriage ban challenged

[JURIST] Seven couples have filed a lawsuit [text] to the United States District Court of North Dakota [official website] on Friday in an effort to challenge North Dakota's same-sex marriage ban. Some of the claims within the suit state that North Dakota's Constitution enactment banning same-sex marriage violates the equal protection, due process and right-to-travel clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment [text] to the US Constitution. North Dakota's same sex marriage ban is currently the last to be challenged within the federal court system of the United States. The lawsuit joins the many within the nation in response to the US Supreme Court striking down [JURIST report] Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive] last June. North Dakota's first openly gay state legislator, Josh Boschee, [official website] commented on the lawsuit stating, "I think it shows that there's agreement in all 50 states that current law is unfair to lesbian and gay families."

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is one of the most controversial topics facing the legal community in America today. In May six couples filed a federal lawsuit [JURIST report] challenging South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage. That same day the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana filed a complaint [JURIST report] reviving a challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban that was dismissed in December 2012. Also in May a judge for Arkansas' Pulaski County Circuit Court ruled [JURIST report] that the state ban on court clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Earlier last month five same-sex couples challenged [JURIST report] Alaska's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

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