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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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Federal District Court Rules on Same-Sex Marriage Case
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that South Dakota District Court has granted the plaintiffs and denied the State’s motion for summary judgment in the South Dakota case of Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard.

“It remains the State’s position that the institution of marriage should be defined by the voters of South Dakota and not the federal courts. Because this case presents substantial legal questions and substantial public interest the Federal Court has stayed its judgment allowing South Dakota law to remain in effect pending the appeal,” said Attorney General Jackley.

The Federal Court ruled that a same sex couple has a fundamental right to marry. Therefore, South Dakota law deprives the plaintiffs of that right without sufficient justification in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The Federal Court ruled that because the case presents substantial legal questions, and because of the substantial public interest in uniformity and stability of the law, the Court stays its judgment pending appeal. In addition, the effects of this judgment are stayed until the judgment is final.

The Dakota Territory law that marriage was authorized only between a male and a female was reaffirmed in November 2006 when a Constitutional Amendment was approved by South Dakota voters.