Lindzi Campbell, Jesse Dykhuis and son Sean

Duane Gajewski and Doug Benson of Minneapolis, Lindzi Campbell and Jesse Dykhuis of Duluth, John Rittman and Tom Trisko of Minneapolis are suing the state of Minnesota for the right to marry. The couples filed suit on Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court.

Duane Gajewski and Doug Benson, a couple for more than 19 years, have been married in Iowa, California, and Canada and had a civil union in Vermont.

John Rittman and Tom Trisko share a home in southwest Minneapolis and have been a couple for 36 years.

“When I was growing up, you were called three things if you were gay: You were sick, you were a sinner and you were a criminal,” said Trisko. “Today, everywhere we go we have to have a big file of documents with us, living wills, powers of attorney. It’s a burden on a daily basis to not have the assumption we are married.”

Lindzi Campbell and Jesse Dykhuis of Duluth are raising two sons and have been together for 3 years.

“We have a responsibility to teach our children to always do the right thing,” said Dykhuis adding that giving their family more stability is the right thing to do.

The three couples are hoping to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on the grounds that it violates their right to due process, their right to free association, their right to freedom of conscience and right to equal protection under the law.

Minneapolis lawyer Peter J. Nickitas is representing the couples.

“We are going to win,” she said. “The country is changing and it’s changing for the better.”

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  1. […] In May, the three couples – Duane Gajewski and Doug Benson, Lindzi Campbell and Jesse Dykhuis, John Rittman and Tom Trisko – filed suit alleging that the state law prohibiting state recognition of same-sex couples violates their civil rights. Unlike other high-profile court battles in Iowa and California, the couples are working without support from most of the state’s LGBT leaders, who largely support an attempt to repeal the offending law in the next session of the legislature. In a statement issued when the couples filed their suit, OutFront Minnesota said they worried that “[a]nother judicial opinion reinforcing the discriminatory ruling of Baker v. Nelson (a 1971 Minnesota Supreme Court decision holding that same-sex couples were not entitled to seek marriage licenses) would set back progress in achieving justice for our families.” […]


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