US: Attorney requests summary judgement in South Dakota same-sex marriage case

Nick Duffy July 9, 2014
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An attorney has requested summary judgement in a court case challenging South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban.

Equality lawyer Josh Newville filed a lawsuit in May, seeking to challenge a 1996 state law, and a 2006 constitutional amendment, which ban same-sex marriage.

However, in a show of confidence, he has now issued a memorandum urging the judge to skip a trial on the issue altogether, and to issue an immediate ruling based on the weight of precedent.

According to LGBTQ Nation, he said: “South Dakota’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and refusal to recognize the lawful marriages of those who married in other states violate the Fourteenth Amendment and the fundamental right to travel, and Plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment on their constitutional claims.

“We’re asking the court to say ‘There’s no need for a trial on this’, because just as a matter of law, South Dakota is in violation of our plaintiff’s rights.”

No court has found in favour of maintaining a same-sex marriage ban since the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court last summer.

Newville filed lawsuits in both South and North Dakota, which were the last two states in the US to have marriage bans not facing legal challenges.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley claims he is required by law to defend state laws, and its constitution.

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