Around the Region: Latest developments in South Dakota’s marriage lawsuit


South Dakotans are gearing up for a lawsuit against that state’s ban on same-sex marriage, and that battle started in Minneapolis.

South Dakota
A second couple in South Dakota said it will join a lawsuit challenging that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Over the weekend, a Rapid City couple was married by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. That couple is planning to launch a lawsuit with the help of a Minneapolis law firm. The couples have the support of the state’s LGBT groups including the Center for Equality.

South Dakota’s Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he will fight the lawsuit.

“I do think it is the duty of our attorney general to defend,” Daugaard told the Aberdeen News. “I think it’s an issue that we should defend.”

That sentiment was echoed by Attorney General Marty Jackly.

“I believe that if there is going to be a change in South Dakota to the definition of marriage that that change should come from South Dakotan’s at the ballot box and not from a court system or a court challenge,” Jackley told KSFY.

The threat of a lawsuit has prompted the state’s social conservatives begin the tongue lashing.

Sioux Falls state representative and pastor Steve Hickey penned a letter to the local paper and posted it to his Facebook page:

South Dakota docs, it’s time for you to come out of the closet and give your professional opinion on this matter like you capably and responsibly do on all the others. Somehow the message we are presently getting from the medical community is that eating at McDonalds will kill us but the gay lifestyle has no side effects. Truth be told it seems self-evident the list of side effects would read far longer than anything we hear on a Cialis commercial.

Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman, also a candidate for Congress, has been raising eyebrows with his anti-LGBT rhetoric. He recently gave an interview with In Focus, a talk show produced by Voice of Christian Youth America.
“What we have is the Secretary of State going to Africa and educating Ugandans or saying he is going to send American scientists to Uganda to explain how normal homosexuality is…Think about that. I mean, what must God think of our country?”

Milwaukee County approved a non-discrimination ordinance last week that includes gender identity and sexual orientation. It was approved over the objections of conservative Christians.

A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage will go forward after a judge’s ruling this week. Republicans in the state had moved to have the lawsuit dropped but were unsuccessful.
Lawmakers in Iowa passed a law this week that revamps the states laws that criminalize the transmission of HIV.

“After a series of negotiations, a historic bill passed through the Iowa House early this morning that will modernize Iowa’s discriminatory HIV law,” One Iowa said in a statement.

At least some Iowa Republicans are done with the gay marriage fight. The 1st District Republicans in the northeast corner of the state added the following to their platform: “We support the removal of the institution of marriage from government control.”

But even as Republicans moderate on the issue, at least one chain of papers in the state is coming under scrutiny, according to Jim Romenesko:

Newton Daily News – the only Monday-through-Friday newspaper published in Jasper County, Iowa – is owned by privately held Shaw Media and edited by a man who fears “the Gaystapo.”

In a Monday post on his personal blog, Bob Eschliman accuses “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” of trying to reword the Bible “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’”

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