The last U.S. state with laws on the books banning same-sex ‘marriage’ will soon face a federal lawsuit, reports state.
“There will be a case filed challenging North Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban,” attorney Joshua Newville of Madia Law in Minneapolis told the Washington Post.
Newville had just filed a lawsuit against officials in South Dakota on Thursday, challenging a 1996 law enshrining marriage as being between a man and a woman, as well as a state constitutional amendment passed by 52 percent of voters in 2006.
“Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota,” it reads. “The uniting of two or more persons in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other quasi-marital relationship shall not be valid or recognized in South Dakota.”
A lawsuit was also filed in Montana on Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of eight homosexuals in the state. Voters in Montana had likewise approved a constitutional amendment, but the ACLU alleges that the referendum, passed in 2004 by a 67 percent majority, violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, however, will not defend the state from the legal challenge.
“Montanans cherish our freedom and recognize the individual dignity of every one of us,” he wrote in a statement this week. “The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate—not discriminate against—two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together.”
Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, has said that he will “vigorously” take up the fight.
“The attorney general, as the state’s chief legal officer, has the responsibility of defending Montana’s laws when they are challenged in court,” spokesman John Barnes told reporters. “We will be defending Montana’s Marriage Amendment, and we will be doing so vigorously, as we do with every other state law or aspect of the state constitution that we defend in court.”
The are 30 U.S. states that have passed laws and/or amendments enshrining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling last June striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), legal groups across the nation have been rapidly filing challenges against state statutes.
North Dakota remains the only state that has been unchallenged, but Newville said that will change within the next six to eight weeks.
“Christian people ought not to point fingers at the decline in America because we’ve been a part of it,” South Dakota Rep. Steve Hickey, a Sioux Falls pastor, told the Associated Press this week.
Pastor Matt Trewhella of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has likewise stated that the prevalence of pietism in the Church—a belief that one’s Christian beliefs should remain personal and have no influence on the rule of law or culture—has been destructive to society.
“We are now seeing, in our day, the results of a pietistic Christianity,” he wrote in an article published by Christian News Network. “Because the pietists retreated from the culture, the institutions of the culture have been annexed and overtaken by pagan men.”