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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Gay Marriage Still Up in the Air in South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. (CN) - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley wants South Dakota to retain its right to define marriage, he said Tuesday.

"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. This longstanding tradition and fundamental principle will now be tested in federal district court and likely the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals."

Jackley spoke in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's denial of seven same-sex marriage appeals, from the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuit Courts. The Supreme Court's rebuff effectively makes permanent federal rulings in those cases, which found that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.

South Dakota's same-sex marriage case, Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard, has been pending in Federal Court since May.

South Dakota was one of 19 states that filed an Amici Curiae petition in September, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether the Constitution requires states to allow same-sex marriage.

In 2006, South Dakota voters approved an amendment to the state's constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

The Supreme Court, in refusing to address any of the seven other states' appeals, showed no inclination to wade into these waters.

Jackley said in a statement: "Because the United States Supreme Court failed to accept the appeals from other states, a decision regarding South Dakota's regulation of marriage will be decided by our federal court, and, ultimately, by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals."

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