Federal judge rules South Dakota same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional News
Federal judge rules South Dakota same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of South Dakota [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday that South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Judge Karen Schreier ruled in favor of six same-sex couples who challenged the ban, finding that the ban violates the right to due process and equal protection afforded by the US Constitution. Judge Schreier stated in her opinion, “Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to marry. South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.” The decision was stayed immediately after the decision to allow a possible appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit [official website], meaning that same-sex marriage is still not permitted in the state.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] continues to be one of the most important topics in the US today, especially with the US Supreme Court [official website] currently deciding whether to take cases concerning the issue. On Monday the Supreme Court decided not to take on a case [JURIST report] to review Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. The ban was upheld by a federal trial judge in New Orleans in September. Earlier this month the governor of Idaho and his Attorney General separately filed petitions to the US Supreme Court [JURIST report] to appeal a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Idaho. In December the Supreme Court refused to delay [JURIST report] a federal judge’s order that would permit same-sex couples to marry in Florida after January 5, despite state officials’ pleas for the delay to be upheld. In November the Supreme Court refused a request [JURIST report] to block same-sex marriages in South Carolina, making it the thirty-fifth US state where same-sex marriage is legal.