aroundtheregion

North Dakota remains the only state without marriage equality or a lawsuit challenging a same-sex marriage ban.

South Dakota
Six couples filed suit on Thursday against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The lead couple in the case was married in Minneapolis.

North Dakota
North Dakota is the only state without marriage equality or a lawsuit challenging a ban on same-sex marriage. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead that that might soon change:

“A Minneapolis-based attorney working with a South Dakota couple to challenge that state’s ban said he’s discussed a potential lawsuit with several same-sex couples in North Dakota. And state Rep. Joshua Boschee, D-Fargo, who became North Dakota’s first openly gay legislator when he was elected in 2012, said he knows of several couples who have approached lawyers.”

Fargo’s second-longest serving mayor, Jon Lindgren, is moving to Iowa. He served in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. He was also an outposken supporter of LGBT rights, well before major civil rights advances. From The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead:

Jon Lindgren, one of Fargo’s most outspoken residents and its second-longest serving mayor, is packing his bags and heading off to Iowa.
He’s also been a staunch advocate for civil rights, particularly for gays and lesbians.
He started issuing proclamations for gay and lesbian awareness week in June 1984, he said.
“It was a huge thing all over the state,” Lindgren said of the reaction.
In 1985, the City Commission had to meet in the civic center auditorium as people argued over that year’s proclamation.
“It was 500 people. It was show time,” Lindgren said. “It was just something that I felt strongly about. Gay and lesbian citizens have been here since Day 1, and they’ve contributed to the community, and they deserve a fair shake in everything that goes on here.”
“He would take so much flak for signing a proclamation for pride, back when that was pretty unfamiliar turf for Fargo,” Strand said, adding that Lindgren told him, “What’s interesting about this, is that I felt bad we weren’t doing it sooner.”

A small-town mayor, Karyn Hippen, has added her name to the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. Hippen is the first mayor in North Dakota to join that campaign. She is mayor of Thompson, a town of about a thousand residents near Grand Forks.

Iowa
Two of Iowa’s largest LGBT groups are merging:

“Iowa Pride Network (IPN), the organization that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs), will merge its student organizing and GSA efforts with One Iowa Education Fund, the state’s leading LGBT organization working toward full equality for LGBT Iowans through grassroots efforts and education.”

Wisconsin
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen reiterated his defense of that state’s ban on same-sex marriage in an interview with WISN.

“Our voters have amended our constitution to include that provision,” Van Hollen said on the show, produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. “It’s my requirement, it’s my obligation, to defend our constitution.”

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