North Dakota rejects equal marriage law despite it already being legal
North Dakota lawmakers have rejected a law to formalise same-sex marriage in law, more than a year after the Supreme Court brought about equal marriage.
In June 2015, a Supreme Court ruling brought same-sex marriage to all 50 US states when it ruled that banning gay couples from getting married is unconstitutional.
But more than a year on from the ruling, lawmakers in North Dakota are still signalling their opposition to the law.
Democrats had tabled the measure to formalise equal marriage in the state’s laws, removing defunct claims that marriage is between “one man and one woman” and rephrasing dozens of state laws to be compliant with the Supreme Court ruling.
The bill had cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, but was defeated by Republicans in the Senate, falling by a vote of 15-31.
Republican Janne Myrdal claimed the bill would “serve to diminish with official intent the honour and sacredness of what the human institution of marriage is described as in the North Dakota Constitution as it stands today.”
However Democratic Senator John Grabinger said: “North Dakota simply cannot overrule the US Supreme Court’s decision.
“I do not believe it is responsible for us to risk potentially millions of dollars in taxpayer money just because we refuse to update the current century code to reflect current federal law.”
The bill would have had no effect beyond formalising equal marriage in law.