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Six Same-Sex Couples Sue South Dakota for Right to Marry

We're going to court. We, all South Dakotans, will pay taxes to pay Marty Jackley to go to court and tell six same-sex couples (and all their compadres rooting for them around the state), "Your love ain't right."

I'd rather we patch potholes.

Here are key excerpts from the brief filed Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court by Jennie and Nancy Rosenbrahn, Jeremy Coller and Clay Schweitzer, Lynn and Monica Serling-Swank, Krystal Cosby and Kaitlynn Hoerner, Barbara and Ashley Wright, and Greg Kniffen and Mark Church, six "loving and committed" couples who want to overturn South Dakota's gay marriage bans (plural, the laws we passed in 1996 and 2000 and the Constitutional amendment we passed in 2006):

Marriage plays an important role in our society. In addition to being the celebration and hallmark of a couple’s commitment to build their lives and family together, it confers dignity, status, rights, and responsibilities. Plaintiffs have formed or want to form enduring bonds worthy of the respect that the State affords to different-sex couples through marriage. Yet, the State has deprived gay and lesbian South Dakotans of the right to marry their chosen partners and declines to recognize lawful marriages entered in other jurisdictions based on sexual orientation and sex [parag. 16].

Our courts and our society have discarded, one by one, marriage laws that violated the United States Constitution’s mandate of equality and liberty, such as anti-miscegenation laws and laws that denied married women independence and the right to make their own decisions. History teaches us that the vitality of marriage does not depend on maintaining discriminatory laws, and that eliminating unconstitutional restrictions on marriage has enhanced the institution. Indeed, in 17 states and the District of Columbia, same-sex couples are legally marrying and the institution of marriage continues to thrive [parag. 22].

When Barb and Ashley married, Barb took Ashley’s last name. Because the State of South Dakota refuses to recognize their marriage, however, the State of South Dakota refuses to issue Barb a drivers license in her married name. A few weeks after her marriage, Barb went to the Aberdeen Drivers’ Licensing station and attempted to have her name changed. An agent for Defendants Daugaard, Jackley, and Jones denied her. The hostile agent told Barb to leave the licensing station and for her and her family to “move back to Minnesota” [parag. 80].

Plaintiffs are residents of South Dakota who experience the same joys and challenges of family life as their heterosexual neighbors, co-workers, and other community members who may marry under South Dakota law or whose lawful out-of-state marriages are recognized by South Dakota. Plaintiffs are productive, contributing citizens who support their families and nurture their children, but the State of South Dakota does not afford them the legal protections, dignity, and respect provided to other families through access to the status of marriage. By excluding Plaintiffs from marriage and from recognition of their lawful out-of-state marriages, the State subjects Plaintiffs to legal vulnerability, unequal financial burdens, and related stress, while depriving them and their children of equal dignity and security. South Dakota’s marriage bans send a purposeful message that the State views lesbians and gay men and their children as second-class members of society who do not deserve the same legal sanction, legal protection, respect, support, responsibilities, and obligations as different-sex spouses and their families [parag. 97].

Defendants’ refusal, under color of State law, to respect the valid out-of-state marriages of Plaintiffs and other same-sex couples unconstitutionally burdens and infringes on Plaintiffs’ right to travel throughout the nation and to resettle and make a new home in South Dakota. By conditioning Plaintiffs’ move to South Dakota on relinquishment of all rights, benefits, and responsibilities of their marriages lawfully celebrated in other States, the State has imposed a penalty on Plaintiffs’ exercise of their constitutionally protected right to travel. Defendants’ actions therefore constitute a “deprivation of the liberty of the person,” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2695, protected by the Fourteenth Amendment [parag. 153].

The State will incur little to no burden in allowing same-sex couples to marry and in recognizing the lawful marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions on the same terms as different-sex couples, while the hardship to Plaintiffs of being denied due process, equal protection, and privileges or immunities is severe, subjecting them to an irreparable denial of their constitutional rights. The balance of hardships thus tips strongly in favor of Plaintiffs [parag. 159].

—Rosenbrahn et al., v. Daugaard et al., Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Declaratory Relief, United States District Court of South Dakota, 2014.05.22

Attorney General Jackley, if ever there was a time for you to not do your job right, this is it. Let our neighbors win. Let the law change. Let love rule.

Update 06:58 CDT: But if you're still worried that these six couples will somehow ruin your marriage, Pastor Steve Hickey will hold a prayer service this evening at 7 p.m. at his Church at the Gate in Sioux Falls seeking an amicus curiae brief from God Almighty.


  1. Tim 2014.05.23

    There was no way the right wing of this state was going to let this go without a fight. In a single party system like the one we have, they shove their beliefs down the rest of our throats every chance they get. Voters can change all of this, question is, will they?

  2. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    The reason this is an issue is because immorality has been shoved down the throats of our children in the government schools for generations. Sad that Cory and his universalist New Agers claim they are promoting equality when they also restrict marriage.

  3. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    Yet Marty has ignored plural marriages to minor girls in Pringle.

  4. Nick Nemec 2014.05.23

    Steve, please show us how your marriage is threatened by any other person's marriage?

  5. Loren 2014.05.23

    "Government schools"? Must mean PUBLIC schools. "Generations"? Would that be 10 yrs, 20, 100 yrs? Platitudes and generalities. Home school your kids, Steve. What effect will these two being married have on YOUR life. They have been together for a long time and you didn't seem to mind, but for them to share property, have legal tax breaks, be able to make medical decisions, etc, now causes you a problem?

  6. Kathy 2014.05.23

    Steve, if you're going to insult people, spout talking points and platitudes and not engage in intelligent debate, why are you even here? When you have to call people names to make your point, you've already lost the argument. Nobody likes a troll and you're not going to change people's minds by acting that way.

  7. Chris S. 2014.05.23

    Personally, I don't understand the obsession some people have with describing anything they don't agree with as being "shoved down their throats." What's with the obsession over that Freudian metaphor, anyway?

  8. CK 2014.05.23

    If by being a "New Ager, " as Sibby says, means that I can support two good friends, who have been in a committed and loving relationship for 12 years, so be it.

    If there is a God, He made them just as He made me...And it's about damn time that Christians admit, that if God had a hand in purposely creating all things, then homosexuality/bisexuality is not a mistake, but merely a variation of humanity.

  9. Les 2014.05.23

    """Steve, if you're going to insult people, spout talking points and platitudes and not engage in intelligent debate, why are you even here? """". That's how it's done at Maddville Kathy. Don't be changing the rules on us now.

  10. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    "Steve, please show us how your marriage is threatened by any other person's marriage?"

    Nick, that is a strawman argument. My point (which Kathy is free to debate) is how the promotion of the gay lifestyle does impact the marriages of one's children and grandchildren. My second point is that most who promote "marriage equality" will not allow marrying a dog in order to get Obamacare to cover the vet bills, or allowing polygamy, etc. The question I bring to this discussion is, by what and/or whose standard shall marriage laws be established?

  11. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    South Dakota, Sibby is what you are up against if you allow Dennis Daugaard and Mike Rounds represent you: register Republican and monkey wrench the primaries.

  12. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    "If there is a God, He made them just as He made me"

    Yes, and that was with a free will. Unfortunately, the perfection of creation was undone by the fall of Adam. The only remedy is to accept the grace of the Second Adam. But that requires repentance which does not include acceptance of same-sex marriage. So make your choice, are you with Jesus Christ or are you against?

  13. Jenny 2014.05.23

    People like the Steve's (Hickey and Sibson) forget about the love part of a gay couple. They just obsess about the sexual act itself. The Steve's have a lot of growing and understanding to do. You can't outlaw the love two human beings have for each other.

  14. Les 2014.05.23

    Sorry, Lar. Too late to monkey around.

  15. Jenny 2014.05.23

    Are you going to walk around and give your shoes and shirt to poor people today, Sib?

  16. Loren 2014.05.23

    So, what you are saying, Steve, is that it's OK to "shove your beliefs down MY throat" because you are a Christian? Who is forcing beliefs on who?

  17. Nick Nemec 2014.05.23

    OK Steve, I'll bite, how does the marriage of a gay couple hurt the marriages of my children and grandchildren?

  18. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Jenny, I love my dog, but I don't want to have sex with it. The vet bills are starting to add up, and I would like to get Obamacare for it. So does "Marriage Equality" allow me to marry my dog?

    And Loren, you can do what you want, but leave the kids alone.

  19. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Nick, if your children buy into the gay thing, then you won't have grandchildren. Jenny's point just provide some support: they don't want sex, they just want love. So the question becomes, does not have grandchildren affect your family?

  20. Jenny 2014.05.23

    I don't believe you understand love between two adult human beings, Sib. If you did, you would have more dignity towards same sex relationships.

  21. Jenny 2014.05.23

    Sibby, that is a selfish way to think about it, wanting grandchildren. Remember, true Christians are not supposed to be selfish.

  22. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Jenny, Genesis 1:28

    And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

  23. Liberty Dick 2014.05.23

    I wonder if this will wake some people up? Hopefully they realize that the government has no business being involved in ANY marriage! The religious need to realize that by allowing the government to define, regulate, and even preside over an inherently religious act they have in a sense violated the 1st amendment and in many religions violated the sanctity of the act.
    If we get the government out of marriage we will all be treated more equally and fairly. The gay marriage debate would officially be over. If your religion does not believe in gay marriage then your church doesn't have to officiate one. The married will lose their special tax status that is discriminatory towards single people.
    The left screams for "equality" but either doesn't know what real equality is or really wants "social justice" for those using religion to oppress homosexuals and conceals it with this equality smoke screen. How would you like your marriage defined? 1. A promise between 2 people and their God. 2. A promise between 2 people, their God, and Government.

  24. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    Liberty is just another word for pooping in someone else's well, Dick.

  25. Loren 2014.05.23

    "And Loren, you can do what you want, but leave the kids alone.

    And I guess I could ask the same of YOU, Steve! BTW, if your concern is for the children, grandchildren,... of others, you should be all in favor of gay folks. In your mind, they won't reproduce, hence you and your "right minded" Christians will win. Don't worry! Be happy!

  26. Joe 2014.05.23

    I'm not sure why anyone supports any sort of government discrimination based on marriage. As an unmarried person, should I be able to extend my rights and benefits to any person I deem fit regardless of if we are married? If I have a good friend who has health issues and no insurance, shouldn't I be able to extend those benefits to he/she? Why does the classification of marriage entail you to more rights and demand a larger subsidy from your employer? Is my work in the same position not worth as much as yours because you are married? Why do we allow our gov't to discriminate based on marital status in the first place?

    It seems to me this isn't just about rights, it's about a status that they want to achieve. A status that shouldn't be a status in the first place. Married couples, gay or straight, are looking for exclusion and special privileges above those who are not married. The marriage "clique" doesn't want to allow gays, but both gays and straight married couples are still promoting discrimination against those who aren't married.

    How about equal rights and privileges for all, married or not? Maybe then, there wouldn't be any reason for people to get married from a civil standpoint. It could be between you and whatever you believe in. The government control of marriage has had quite the past and it is mainly a control device. Controlling gay marriages wasn't different than the past when they tried to control interracial marriages. All I am wondering is, why not take that control away entirely and let people do as they please?

  27. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23

    Homosexual people can, and do have children. Sibby's is a completely uninformed argument. Further there should be no government mandate requiring any married person to have or not have children.Maybe Steve is showing us his cute little homophobic, crypto-nazi petticoats here (or is it crypto-Marxist?) LOL.

  28. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23

    p.s. Sibby, on that "dominion" thing from Genisis, did you notice that it didn't specify that we should have dominion over one another?

  29. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23


  30. R.A.Johnson 2014.05.23

    Well that is the single most creepy music video I have ever seen....that is my word.

  31. Jenny 2014.05.23

    My word is that Lenny Kravitz is one beautiful man.

  32. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23

    R.A. must not get out much. :-)

    Sounds like Beatles… a la the end of Hey Jude (except they never had any where near such a killer sax solo).

    And the video reminds me of Magical Mystery Tour era stuff.

    All good.

  33. Rhino Lynn 2014.05.23

    Genesis? I remember enjoying Phil Collins and Genesis play when MTV 1st came out.

    Seriously I hope the law changes on this and the AG loses this case.

  34. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    OK Bill, tell me ho two guys can have children together. And do that while explaining to Jenny that this is all about love and not about sex.

    And second, explain how two women can have children together.

    Third explain how Genesis 1:28 is not about God still having authority over us.

  35. JeniW 2014.05.23

    Steve, if Nick's children are gay, he may not be a biological grandparent, so what?

    My brother married a woman who already had three children from a previous marriage. Just because they were not his biological children it did not mean my parents and the rest of the family did/do not love the children. Nor did my parents suffer because my brother did not have any biological children. My parents had three children. One of their children had one biological child, the other two did not. My parents did not suffer because of that, nor did it cause them to die.

    How do you feel about straight couples who by choice, or force, do not have children?

  36. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23

    Exactly. As per Jenny, there are any number of ways a couple can have and raise children. Adoption, in vitro fertilization, surrogate mothers, sperm donor fathers. It's also fairly common that a gay or lesbian person may come out later in life and, after becoming widdowed or divorced, bring those children with them into the new marriage.

  37. Barry G. Wick 2014.05.23

    Please send the bill to Roger Hunt. He started this mess that will, in the end, cost South Dakotans their treasure.
    I love how the conservative folk preach equality only for themselves. Equality yesterday, Equality now, Equality forever. As for Mr. Sibson, comparing complicated human relations to dogs....but then I do have to remember some males using a particular canine term to describe their wives...which, I hope, that term has never crossed Mr. Sibson's mind or lips. For some reason it's popular in South Dakota for important legislators to compare taxpaying and voting citizens to animals on the farm or ranch. They seem to care more for their animals than they do their neighbors....the ones who buy the beef, the pork, the chickens, the bread, the corn. If someone is treated badly by a proprietor or purveyor of goods and can always go someplace else. In a small state like South Dakota that is not possible. As a gay man and gay father related to two former South Dakota governors, Gunderson and Lee, civilization has created something called science. Science has discovered sexual variations in a large number of species. Science also discovered through social observations that humans are quiet varied both genetically and socially. While the systems want people to be taught the same, trained the same and treated the same, we've discovered over the years that great statements about equality have little meaning to those who don't heed the discoveries of science. Mr. Sibson, and those like him, are now being taught an expensive lesson about equality in the United well as serious lessons about privacy and the value of the documents our founders created to heal divisions in society. Mr. Sibson, and those like him, only believe one document, the Bible, has everything needed to keep society functioning. However, even in South Dakota the Codified law runs into numerous books and the laws and regulations of the US...into untold numbers of books...most of which aren't read until needed. Mr. Sibson has, no doubt, not read the 18th clause to the South Dakota Bill of Rights. It states: " § 18. Equal privileges or immunities. No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens or corporation, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations." Equal rights pure and simple. What Roger Hunt and others in our legislature did was to preserve inequality. And so, South Dakota will go to court to defend inequality. The shame of this un-American action be upon them.

  38. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    The US Constitution is just so over-rated in the face of biblical teachings.

  39. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    Sibby's relationship with his own father has caused stirrings in him that give a whole new meaning to being six feet under.

  40. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23

    Sibby, the Genesis passage on its face seems to indicate that Big G turned a whole lot of his chores over to mankind, making them godlike in a sense.

    Further, there is a passage where God is talking to the angels about the Tree of Knowledge and why they don't want us eating from it (which we did anyway) because we will become gods (like they are).

    Kind of Hindu/New Agey in a way, don't you think?

    Gotta be careful with mythology, Sibby.

    It can jump out and bite you in the you know what if you don't pay close attention. ;-)

  41. Les 2014.05.23

    Speaking of GOP Roger Hunt, we had a SOS who upheld the law and was cursed by the GOP for bringing Roger Hunt to the table and bad mouthed by the Dems for other unimportant details of his performance.
    Long live Chris Nelson! May we remember how the SOS office should operate.

  42. Les 2014.05.23

    What do you want, Lar? We screw the other guy and pass the savings on to you?

  43. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    "Exactly. As per Jenny, there are any number of ways a couple can have and raise children. Adoption, in vitro fertilization, surrogate mothers, sperm donor fathers. "

    Yes, I already know that the universalist New Age Worldview establishes each person as their own god and authority. But that runs counter to those who follow a Biblical Christian Worldview which is being treated as wrong by the government schools. Whether you anti-Christians care or not does not change the fact that your establishment of a New Age Theocracy via the government schools is having a detrimental impact on Christian families who desire to follow Biblical principles.

  44. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    "Sibby, the Genesis passage on its face seems to indicate that Big G turned a whole lot of his chores over to mankind, making them godlike in a sense. "

    No Bill, it was not the Big G, it was the serpent that promoted man to be like God. And yes, you New Age universalists are following the way of the serpent, not the will of God.

  45. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.23

    Make no mistake about it, gay marriage is about equality, and perhaps served up with a bit of nanner nanner.

    Biblical citations have absolutely no place in the debate for or against gay marriage. Can anyone point to a law in this country where the Bible is the sole source or foundation for that law, if there is one.

    There are so many excellent comments here encompassing the support of gay marriage and why Jackley will lose this case in federal court. The precedents have been set Mr. Jackley.

    Pennsylvania was the most recent state this week where the marriage ban was overturned, the governor and attorney general decided to accept the results and not challenge the ruling. Take note Jackley, preserve what little dignity you have left and save some taxpayers some money.
    Maybe the state would do well and save the gay marriage fight money and invest it something worthwhile, like medicare expansion

  46. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    Yes, I already know that the selfservative establishes each person as their own god and authority. But that runs counter to those who follow an American Indian view which is being treated as wrong by the government schools. Whether you anti-evolutionist care or not does not change the fact that your establishment of a Theocracy via the parochial schools is having a detrimental impact on American families who desire to follow sustainable principles.

  47. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.23

    Doesn't Sibson have his own blog where he can unleash his hate, frustrations and meaningless biblical quotes?

  48. Loren 2014.05.23

    Then send your darn kids to religious schools or Sunday school! That is a choice you CAN make! Don't force YOUR beliefs on other's children, Steve!

  49. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.23

    I'm seriously hoping that Rev(?) Hickey will provide us and the Daily Show another "zen moment" at his service this evening.

  50. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Loren, I pay taxes. The New Age Theocrats don't allow those dollars to follow the choice made by the tax payer. The First Amendment has been destroyed.

    Roger, what do you mean by "zen moment" and "meaningless biblical quotes"?

  51. Rhino Lynn 2014.05.23

    New Age universalists, New World Order, Guardians of the Galaxy Movie, The Avengers,

    Steve can we all agree that we disagree and move forward?

  52. Craig 2014.05.23

    Sibson: “My point (which Kathy is free to debate) is how the promotion of the gay lifestyle does impact the marriages of one's children and grandchildren.”

    If the “promotion of the gay lifestyle” somehow impacts future marriages of one’s children, it will only be that those children would be less likely to enter a loveless marriage in order to hide their true sexual preference. Therefore this would also reduce the amount of divorces when those who entered into these fake marriages realized they cannot live a lie any longer and they leave their spouse to pursue a relationship with a partner of the same sex and ultimately a marriage based upon mutual love and respect rather than lies and convenience.

    Thus the net effect of “promoting the gay lifestyle” (whatever that means) is a positive one where people can marry one another out of love rather than societal pressure, and that should be a good thing.

    Sibson: "I love my dog, but I don't want to have sex with it. The vet bills are starting to add up, and I would like to get Obamacare for it. So does "Marriage Equality" allow me to marry my dog?"

    You complain about strawmen arguments but a few minutes later you are comparing marriage to your dog as equivalent to two consenting adults being married? Really?? I won’t even bother to explain to you that the ACA covers healthcare for humans and in no way covers anything for animals regardless of their marital status only because every other aspect of your analogy is even more idiotic.

    Tell you what - if you can find a dog who is of the mental capacity to enter into a contract of his or her own free will, and one considered intelligent enough to make their own decisions without undue coercion then by all means I’ll support you marrying it. However, since dogs, cats, children, washing machines, and aliens from Uranus aren’t considered legally able to enter into contracts nor are they considered to be able to have the mental fortitude to make such a decision I’m afraid you are out of luck. I’m guessing your dog is VERY relieved.

    It does however speak volumes that you place the mental ability of the average homosexual on par with that of canines.

  53. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    "Yes, I already know that the selfservative establishes each person as their own god and authority. But that runs counter to those who follow an American Indian view which is being treated as wrong by the government schools. "

    Sorry Larry, you are not off the hook:

    Thus, history repeats itself, and the ancient Egyptian gospel of men becoming "gods" is fashionable again! New Age celebrities like Carlos Santana and Shirley MacLaine represent themselves as "I AM that I AM" at human potential symposiums around the world, and the Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, describes God in terms of "a constant and holy spiritual presence in all people, all life, and all things." Hillary Clinton channels the spirits of the dead, and members of the House of Representatives warn Congress of increasing evidence of a "government-sponsored religion" in America that is "a cloudy mixture of New Age
    mysticism, Native American folklore and primitive earth worship."

  54. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23

    Yup. Like I said before, it's hard to reason with a guy who believes in talking snakes.

  55. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Craig, your argument that true marriages would be based on animal desires and thereby reduce divorces kind of runs counter to your idea of marrying a dog as being less than desirable. Just so you know: I know a person who had three children within 14 months with three different women. The next desire was only 15, so off to prison for statutory rape. He comes out with a boy friend. After the boyfriend is sent back to prison, back to having sex with women. So is this person gay or straight? How can he determine who to marry if he only gets one choice? Why do you argue that he can marry his boyfriend, but not all three of the mothers of his children? Should marriage equality include adding the 15 year old as his 5th spouse?

    So where did you get the law that marriage should be only between two consenting adults? Who made you a god that determines who can and who cannot marry?

  56. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Bill, I believe what I read in the Bible. You believe in yourself as god; who talks too much (intended to be funny, not demeaning).

  57. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.23

    Steve Sibson,

    The zen moment refers to Steve Hickey's poop story being featured on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show earlier this week

    Meaningless biblical citations will not be considered in the fight to legalize the gay marriage ban, the arguments will be made on man made law and not biblical law.

    If we enforced the laws of the Bible, you would be able to stone your wife to death in the public should she decide to divorce you. You'll like say you wouldn't do that, but it is still biblical law, is it not? Or do you get to choose which laws of the Bible you enforce or not enforce?
    Sibson wrote, "Loren, I pay taxes. The New Age Theorcrats don't allow those dollars to follow the choice made by the taxpayer".
    Once you pay your taxes or the government collects them, they are no longer yours. When you pay your credit card bill can you still claim ownership of those funds paid to the company?
    Long before your New Age Theocrats, taxpayers have been whining about how their tax dollars are spent and to no avail. To use your phrase, it is a straw man argument.
    If you don't like how your tax dollars are spent, demand a refund and see what the local, state, and federal government has to say about that.

  58. Bill Fleming 2014.05.23

    Steve, I don't believe any such thing. You believe that I believe that. You're basically a solipsist. There is no world other than the one you imagine.

  59. Rhino Lynn 2014.05.23

    What happened to Sibby Online? The last post was March 13, 2014

  60. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.23


    When you marry your dog, will it be a male dog or a bitch?

  61. Randall 2014.05.23

    But if someone else gets the same rights as US - then OUR rights are lessened. There are only so many rights to go around -- so if you give THOSE PEOPLE some rights, then there are fewer rights for US.

    Doncha see? Doncha SEE?

  62. Jackilope 2014.05.23

    Tell me why we want grandchildren when food and water is going to be scarce from the bought and paid for Republicans are busy enabling the oil industry to frack and pollute? Oh, sure, they vote so teh gay population can't have civil and legal unions -- because Heaven knows we can't have that. But clean water, etc? Pffffft!

  63. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.23

    Oh, Randall, you jokester!

    Same-sex marriage boosts opposite-sex marriage. When gays and lesbians can all get openly hitched, they take gays and lesbians off the dating market. If you're a guy with a crush on that good-looking new gal at work, that ring on her finger and her openness about her perfectly legal reputation will save you time! Instead of ogling and pining and working up the courage to ask her out, you know right away, "Nope! She's taken!" and you focus your amorous aspirations on viable prospects. Ditto for you straight ladies (at those of you with weak gaydar). Folks of all orientations can get to dating and hitching and family-making more efficiently.

  64. Anne Beal 2014.05.23

    I am a Republican because I think less government interference in my personal business is good. Most Republicans will say the same thing. Why so many of them think the government should intrude upon the most intimate relationship two consenting adults can have mystifies me. If both parties are of legal age and have consented together, that should be the end of it. If, by chance, they become parents, and the children suffer from abuse or neglect, we already have laws on the books to address that. I wish my fellow Republicans would explain to me how their neighbors' sex lives are any of their business.

  65. mike from iowa 2014.05.23

    Wingnut religgers need to disabuse themselves of the notion that there are multiple sets of laws to follow. The only pertinent rules are those laid down through the constitution,which is in no way founded on your version of the bible. This is not now,never was and never will be a christian nation. Get over yourselves.

  66. Chris S. 2014.05.23

    Another thing that puzzles me: Why is it that so many people opposed to marriage equality can't understand the simple concept of "consent"? If you're concerned about people marrying children, there's the whole thing about the Age of Consent, so you don't need to worry. If you're really, truly, honestly worried about people marrying dogs and turtles or whatever, you do realize that animals can't give consent, right?

    Honestly, the hysterical protesting about weird non-consensual things, and things being "rammed down their throats" makes me think there are a whole lot of other issues behind all this — and it has nothing at all to do with marriage equality for consenting adults. Dr. Freud might be able to help.

  67. jaa dee 2014.05.23

    You universalist New Agers of the universalist New Age Worldview just don't get it. There wouldn't be all these ungodly things being found Constitutional if you all would just accept Steves own personal flying spaghetti monster as your personal savior. It could be just like the good ole days when "those people" knew their place and stayed there (survival instinct)....Perhaps more folks would buy into Steve and gods argument if it didn't seem to require obsessions with gay, dog, and farm animal sex.

  68. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.23

    Anti-marriage equality laws are dropping like flies across the country. That's happening because, like so many laws that single out a certain group for diminished rights, it's unconstitutional! Nothing complicated there.

    In more and more states, a marriage between 2 people is a marriage between 2 people. Nothing more, nothing less. Even in states that have celebrated marriage equality for several years, the divorce rate has not increased. Apparently, marriage for all is good for all marriages.

    BTW, more than 50% of Americans favor marriage for all. That number has been rising for years. More virulent, anti-LBTG rantings cause a spike in the favorable numbers. People can tell what is BS, fear and hate, as opposed to truth. They don't like meanies.

  69. Richard Schriever 2014.05.23

    Sibby - couple a things about that biblical law stuff - besides it being biblical law and not constitutional law.

    1. Note - you are quoting the Judaic scriptures- NOT the Christ. Christ says he came to be the fulfillment of those old scriptures - so YOU and I don't have to fulfill them.

    2. How many children did Christ have? - answer - ZERO. His message was to love one's fellow human as one's self. Not a thing about multiplying.

  70. Richard Schriever 2014.05.23

    Anne Beal - IMO the right winger's obsessing over these social issues is done completely out of political cynicism. It is all about carving out a guaranteed segment of the voters. Just look at Congress. Some of the MOST VOCAL anti-gay Reps are themselves - wait for it - closeted gay.

  71. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.23

    A few years ago when gay marriage became a political issue, the Republican Party successfully used it as a scare tactic to win votes, today in the right wings blogs they are continuing with their outlandish fears.
    Times do change, now Democrats are using it as a successful tactic to tell just how the Republicans remain inclusive. Our youngest generation are now see gay marriage as acceptable and strongly support it.
    Anne Beal is correct in asking why her party is so anti-gay marriage and why the government should be allowed to intrude in citizens private lives.
    There will always be the Steve Hickey's, Gregg Belfrage's, Bob Ellis, and Steve Sibson's. What they are not doing is listening to young people, young voters.
    By all accounts gay marriage is growing more acceptable, not just nationally, but locally and it is scaring the hell out of them. In reading their blogs today. it is obvious that they are in full scare the public mode.
    As they make the same arguments against gay marriage of ten years ago, they should be finding out by now that those arguments now longer have traction
    Go ahead right wing dudes, for every passe argument you make, there is a youngster or two that are turned off by you.

  72. Kerry 2014.05.23

    Prayer circle for Steve. Who's in?

  73. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.24

    Not me, Kerry—I'm an atheist! I prefer a voters' circle.

  74. JeniW 2014.05.24

    Wasn't there a time when a straight couple, whom one partner had one ethnic (race,) background and the other partner had a different ethnic (race,) background there was an outcry similar to the one being created by those who object to gay couples getting married?

    Almost the same arguments were used, except that children would be bi-racial and that was going be result in horrible things happening?

    Oh, and we must not forget that it was a major sin for a couple with two different religious background to marry.

    Seems that all those "predicted" doomsday events never came true.

  75. larry kurtz 2014.05.24

    Neanderthals would have gone extinct in the gene pool because of inbreeding: their DNA came to America with the European invasion only after being saved by ancestors from the Middle East: curious that not only in metaphor, the serpent was a human ancestor as well.

    Community rose up to defeat a white supremacist enclave in southern Dakota's northern neighbor: curious that the last place to fight inequality in the courts, that excluding American Indians, has the highest population of people with Neanderthal genetics.

  76. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.24

    And Jeni, Bill, that's a point made in the plaintiff's brief. We're still getting married and treating marriage like a really big deal. (I just looked at my wife and said, "Holy cow! We're still married!" with genuine wonder and pleasure at carrying on such an important and valuable thing.)

    Maybe marriage isn't a thing floating above us all, some grand zeppelin of a concept into which abusers, adulterers, and other ne'er-do-wells can shoot a bunch of holes with their bad choices. Maybe marriage is more like jogging: it's a choice that each one of us makes. Every day we roll out of bed and commit, and re-commit, to doing it. Some days we take the hill; some days we slack off, some days we twist an ankle and need a lift to get home. But if we commit, we keep doing it, because it's a good thing. And how well we do it, what we get from it, and what it means to us have absolutely nothing to do with whether or with whom or how well someone else does it.

  77. Bill Fleming 2014.05.24

    Congratulations Cory!

  78. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.24

    12 years, 2 weeks, ring still on finger. Boo-yah!

    But maybe it's all our fault. Ever since the beginning of our atheist-Lutheran union, gay marriage has been gaining recognition in all sorts of states. Maybe we shot the zeppelin?

  79. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.24

    LibD, I don't know if this matters, but you left out an option for your definition of marriage: a promise between two people. Period.

  80. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.24

    So, did Steve Hickey provide us with a "moment of zen" in his Amicus Curiae last evening?

  81. Bill Dithmer 2014.05.24

    First off, lets talk a little about the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. Our society, for the most part, has become a people anchored in the belief that this three day holiday is something different then it is. Cookouts, camping, boating, and drinking, have slowly replaced the true meaning of the special day.

    For me, it has always been about the people that I have known, and all those men and women that came before our time that sacrificed a part of their life, or their lives for us. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and now Afghanistan.

    Four totally unnecessary wars that did nothing to advance civilization. They didn't fix anything, but they did change our country forever. Under the magnifying glass of time it has become clear that the reason for these wars was not to right a wrong, but to line the pockets of the defense contractors and the war machine.

    But through it all my respect for the people that serve has never faltered. Unlike some I choose to thank them all, not just certain ones. They come back in pieces, they come back broken, some with minds that will never be the same again, and some come back in body bags. I'll parathought Hillary here. When people get killed in a war, does it really matter if they are gay or straight? They serve therefore they deserve our respect. "Dead is dead what difference does it make if they are gay, they still did what most of us couldn't do.THANK YOU!!

    I haven't posted much in the last couple of months because I was busy with health care and finishing the drawings for our solar home. That doesn't mean I haven't read everything, it just means I didn't feel the need to post.

    If you really think about it nothing has changed in the last two thousand years. It has always been about religion, greed, and the power that those things can bring. It doesn't make a damn bit of difference what those religions are, they all think they have been chosen to control the rest of us. They are a bunch of lowlife moralistic sons da bitches that want to have complete control of those they feel are beneath them and will stop at nothing to get what they want. I will call them GODS GESTOPO. You know who you are without being told so if you are pisses at me I'm probably talking about you.

    Hickey and Sibson, your arguments fall flat on these ears. The Muslim book of hate, the Jewish old testament, and the Christian book of fables all have one thing in common. They all want to have complete control. Each of these books have direct passages about who you are supposed to be. Who you should or shouldn't talk to, and altimatly who you should hate. For those that believe, I have a couple of questions.

    1. If there is a god wouldn't everything be fixed by now? After all, anyony that could create everything, would have no trouble making everyone think the same about such things as homosexuals, abortion, and wars?
    After all if he, she, or it created everything didn't they also create abortion, homosexuals, and wars?
    2. If there is a god that created us in his own image, wouldn't they want to lead by example instead of using the rest of us like someone manipulating the joystick of a video game. WTF.

    Believe it or not I haven't always thought like this. For thr first fifty years of my existence i just went along with the gang, never voicing an opinion or going against thr grain. After a couple of life changing experiences that all changed. Now I say what I think, and sometimes it gets me in trouble.

    The day of the donkey has come to an end. People used to get the news from a person that walked into their town or farm. Now that news travels at the speed of light. The truth is no longer what you are told it is but through a few keystrokes and common sense obtainable. Is it any wunder that religions without forced attendance are loosing their congregations? Let's face it, before people were allowed to communicate with the world, they were made to believe what they were told to believe. Now not so much.

    The truth never changes. It's harder to tell a lie now then at any time in history. A religious leader can no longer say xyz if their congregation has the means to find out that xyz is bogus. The truth will set you free, but only if it is the real truth.

    All the major religions have one thing in common and they all want you to think it is special to that religion. It predates religion to the time of multiple gods. For some its called The Golden Rule, before that The Silver Rule. And yet none of these religions today give a damn about that.

    Hickey, no one is forcing you to crawl in a shitty bed if you dont want to. Sibby the reflection you see in the mirror isn't god, it's just you.

    Anti homosexual, anti women, and pro war, as long as they get power or make money and can get someone else to do the fighting, is coming to a legislature near you all in the name of god. They are GODS GESTOPO!

    The Blindman
    Ps I'll know where I'm going when I get there, and that's the truth.

  82. Tim 2014.05.24

    Steve, you have to believe in that religious garbage before it can control you, I don't so no control.

  83. JeniW 2014.05.24

    Bill, your comment about if there is a god, shouldn't god have everything fix by now, to me, implies that you have certain expectations of a god. Someone taught you those expectations, and to some extent you believed what you were told. You were not born with those expectations or beliefs, someone(s) taught you those expectations.

    My question is what if the people who taught you about what to expect from god taught you the wrong thing? What if your belief as to what to expect from a god is wrong?

    From early on we are taught that 2 + 2 = 4, we are told that so often that it becomes ingrained into us, that we automatically say "four" when asked what does two plus two equal? Math is a human made concept that helps us to function from day to day. For some in the world the concept of math is not taught, so if asked what does two plus two equal, the person asked is most likely not give you an answer, or at least not the answer we have grown to expect.

    To me, it all depends on what each of us expect from god.

  84. Tim 2014.05.24

    Wow Bill, no way to say it any better than that, nice job. You ever consider writing a book? I'm impressed and that's not easy to do.

  85. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.24

    Both Bills -Fleming and Blindman - excellent comments. GOod analogies create good visuals, and you did so for me.


  86. Bill Dithmer 2014.05.24

    No Jen, I have no expectations of god. It might sound funny but I grew up going to church in my home. Threre were a few families that lived close and we took turns having church in our homes every week. A nice traveling preacher gave me my first insight to religion, never telling us what we should believe but giving us the truth as he saw it so we could make up our own minds.
    It wasn't until I went to a real church for the first time that I learned not to expect anything from god.

    And that thing you said about who you learn from, what to expect from god. The one thing that I did gleam from my short walk through religion was "Beware of false prophets," that has served me well throughout my life. I chose to live by the Golden Rule, not the rule of god. At one time I thought they were the same but now I know they aren't.

    And that 2+2 =4 question is a poor analogy. If you ask any sheep herder in any corner of the world how many sheep are standing in front of him, when there are four there, he will hold up four fingers. I'm not saying you are wrong, only that simple math is universal.

    Tim I've had two books ready to E publish for a year I just haven't had the time or the knowledge to get it done. "Diary of a food whore," and "Pass Creek."

    Deb you sexy thing, Belinda still says no but to keep in touch in case she needs to get rid of me in a hurry.

    Here is my burning question for the day. Since we are supposed to be created in gods image, does god fart, and if he or she does can anyone here it?

    That's enought for now. As far as religion goes I can just feel the love, or it just might be gas.

    The Blindman

  87. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.25

    "The Lutheran" is the denominational monthly magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, my church. The editor takes risks and does not hide from controversy. I respect that about it.

    Rev. Peter Marty writes a monthly column. Here is a quote from his latest column:

    "We don’t have to force Jesus on anybody, or convince individuals that their spiritual logic is faulty. Our task is to embody Christian love, not play savior."

    Here is the link to the whole article:

  88. JeniW 2014.05.25

    Bill, thank you for sharing your perspective. Just few questions for you, you asked if god farts, if he or she does, can anyone hear it? My question is, does god have a gender? Why would god need to have a gender? Are we really made in the image of god, or have we made god into our image? Who taught who that god has a gender and god is shaped like a human?

    From my perspective, god does not look anything like the human physical form. God is a spiritual being, not a physical being.

    Your early experiences as going to church was by going one home to another, what was taught or discussed during those visit? Were the discussions about religion, or were the visits about fellowship?

    I am not sure I know what is meant by the "golden rule," would you be willing to share what you mean by the "golden rule?"

    I have been all over the spectrum when it comes to god. The experiences in my life, the good, bad, and the ugly, have given me a non-traditional perspective of god.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective, I appreciate it.

  89. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.25

    Bill D. contends that it is harder to lie now than ever before. I'm not so sure. We certainly have more information available to us than ever before. But our information technology makes it easier for con artists and madmen to shout beyond the walls of their villages, where everyone knows they are full of crap, and find far-flung willing dupes. Annette Bosworth does that with her campaign fundraising. Whoever is writing nutty stuff about Shirley MacLaine and the New Age Illuminati can reach out to draw in folks like Sibby, who then frolic in that poopy bed like the sinners who so scare our other friend Steve.

    We have lots of information, but no one is going to read it all. It's like grocery stores: the shelves are bigger and have more products, but we homo sapiens still can only digest so much food in a healthy way; eating more weighs us down with useless fat. We can't usefully process much more info than we did when we lived in disconnected villages. We must thus tune out an even higher percentage of information than ever before. And we face more advanced hucksters with more advanced techniques of packaging their preferred information in shinier packages and not to the gal on the corner handing out generic truth in plain brown packages (think teachers, told not to lecture or teach long novels, required to wrap their teaching in multimedia slideshows and fancy Internet activities to compte for attention).

    The folks who want control have more motivation to shout for attention than the folks who don't want control (think Libertarians and their inability to form a coherent party). Those of us who think truth has an inherent power to ultimately win may be more inclined to take our hands off the wheel. Those pitching lies will keep working to promote those lies, out of necessity.

    (Dang it, Bill D., your philosophizing is infectious!)

    Fortunately, in the case of marriage, truth appears to be winning out over lies. The urge for liberty appears to be winning over the urge to control. That victory is not inevitable. It requires that people keep shouting the truth and fighting the control, even when they'd really rather just do their own thing and leave everyone else alone.

  90. Bill Dithmer 2014.05.25

    The word for the day is "if" Jen. If there is a god people throughout time have traditionally said it was a he. But if you go back a few years on this blog, you will find that I dont have a notion of who, or what god is. Since I dont believe in god the way others do I refer to the mental image that others profess to believe in as "he, she, or it."

    The Golden rule can be explained here much better then I can.

    My early experiences with religion would have been both, about religion and fellowship. Despite what most preachers would say the two aren't mutually exclusive but instead overlap. Think maga churches, designer coffees, good things to eat, daycare, and preaching. Well we had that only on a very small level. Now it would be called "networking" but then it was just friends getting together only with a preacher.

    All of that changed twenty years later because of a saying that my Grandad Collins who was religious used to say. "There is nothing worse then someone that goes to church on sunday and screws his neighbor on monday. It seemed like everybody was doing that, including the preachers.

    Jen, you just have to make up your mind about this stuff. You sure dont want to put to much stock in what I say here because most people know that I am crazy, I have a warped sense of humor, and my sarcasm drips like spilled honey from a cold counter top.

    I'm not going to say that there is no god, there sure could be. I just have a thing for those that push religion, and that includes every religion not just Christianity. I am an equal religion basher.

    Now that's more then I have written for over two months and my finger is getting tired so its time to go out on the deck for a single malt adult beverage. Ya I know it's only 8:30 in the am, but it's also Memorial day weekend. I hoist a glass for my uncles, who are gone now. I drink to those that I have known that served, and those that are just names unknown to me that gave their lives. That's the way it has always been, and the way it will always be.

    The Blindman

  91. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.25

    Good to see you back Blindman. I read your treatise and was disappointed that there was no poetry involved, (which I commented on how much I miss it just a couple or few days ago. But then I as I read your last paragraph, although there was no iambic pentameter present, the paragraph was poetry in its simplest and most heartfelt form. Thanks Mr Dithmer

  92. mike from iowa 2014.05.25

    With all the various translations of the bible and people re-defining words,is it possible that somewhere along the line someone mistook heavenly father for heavenly farter? Farter is not gender specific,but manners suggest that the female should fart first making god of the female persuasion. Is it not also possible that since really bad smells(hog manure,cattle waste,,etc) are said to smell like money would that not make farting a derivative of the word farthing?

  93. Barry smith 2014.05.25

    Richard Dawkins created a scale that an individual can use to determine where they are on the spectrum of belief in a higher power, it can be found here-

    Cory -- this post may be off topic but I posted it just because it is interesting in relation to how this conversation has evolved. I have yet to see anyone argue against same sex marriage rights who isn't doing so based on anything but their religious conviction.

  94. Les 2014.05.25

    Civil War 498,332
    WWI 116,516
    WWII 405,399
    Korean War 36,574
    Nam 58,220
    Iraq 4,476
    Afghanistan 2,184
    Columbine or events of lesser numbers are a tragedy but war becomes just more statistics. Stats, damned stats and lies. Blessings to those who gave of themselves for the lies and corruption we call war.

  95. JeniW 2014.05.25

    Blindman, thank you again for sharing. I am a "newbie" to Madville (less than a month,) so I have not read any comments that you have written.

    Everyone develops her/his own perspective based on what they learn and life experiences. My perspectives are what I consider non-traditional because in my questioning I have read and heard different things and have found out that there are many different answers. My perceptions have been influenced by my good, bad, and ugly life experiences, and one very deep and profound experience that I only have shared with a select few.

    I think of myself as being very liberal and eclectic in my beliefs, but do have objections to beliefs that cause suppression/oppression, and/or cause harm to other living beings.

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness, and will be thinking through your response. It really does not matter whether I agree with you or not, I respect and appreciate your view.

  96. mike from iowa 2014.05.25

    For what it is worth,it would do some good if a certain former Potus would show some contrition and remorse on this Memorial Day,for all the people-Americans and otherwise-that had to die for absolutely no justifiable reason at all in the last dozen years. War is not a game!

  97. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.25

    This is off the subject of the entire point of this blog, but on point to your suggestion Mike. It is a lot more than the former POTUS. It is our entire political system, which is somewhat similar to South Dakota's view on business. The business of our country has become war and politicians on both sides of the aisle are to blame not just this or that President. I would however suggest that most on the left fail to recognize the part that Bill Clinton and Barak Obama have played in that theme.

    Les posted the war dead from US statistics and while they are sad as well as disgusting, they pale in comparison to the dead suffered around the world in the last 60 plus years at the hands of the US military as well as covert actions by the CIA. We have found more and better ways to kill that don't cause as much suffering at home but wreak untold pain and suffering on the citizens of the world. Note the first thing the politicians say when talking about going to another war or "police action" is not boots on the ground. That means we will kill with bombs or drones or paying terrorists as we are doing in Syria and as we did in Afghanistan a generation ago. How did that work out?

  98. mike from iowa 2014.05.25

    True,Lanny. It is just dumb bass dubya's smirk and joking about wmds being hidden in the WH that really iritate me. Hell,everybody with their eyes open knew Bush was lying through his teeth about reasons to invade Iraq. He is a politician-they all lie. He just does it and looks and sounds like a weasel doing it.

  99. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.25

    Since the filing of the lawsuit of the six coupes challenging the SD gay marriage ban, there has been an enormous amount of trash talk from both sides and for many more an opportunity to re-examine their own religious/Christian/spiritual beliefs.

    From what I have read of court rulings, there is the absence of the Bible and religion from those decisions, and for good reason.

    John Tristan's Constant Commoner has really brought this issue home for me and I encourage everyone to read it. In his blog, John is able to eliminate all the standard arguments opposing gay marriage in four words,"The Declaration of Independence".

    The very words we often take for granted: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the foundation for the almost daily court rulings in support of gay marriage. Those words that represent freedom have a deeper meaning for same sex couples, for them it comes down to equality, plain and simple.
    Gregg Belfrage's latest blog is in support of gay marriage, but does not want marriage redefined, from what I have learned in the past few days, marriage isn't being redefined, it is being expanded upon.

  100. mike from iowa 2014.05.25

    Roger C- Ted Cruz hears gods voice and openly admits it. Ben Sasse-wingnut extraordinaire from Nebraska has decided religious beliefs trump US law. The activist wingnut Scotus has designs on replacing secular law with religious BS. The fight is just beginning,I'm afraid.

  101. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.25

    Roger et al, as you can tell from my previous post, my abhorrence for war grows with each year that I live. It is so amazing to me, that we can still be trying to outlaw love between two people, (gay marriage) in the 21st century and yet do nothing to outlaw the hate that is war.

  102. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.25

    I share your sentiment about war, most wars are not needed and do not have to go on as long as the generals want them to.
    It's been said that the casualties of war are those killed, injured, lives forever altered and the destruction of property.
    The other casualty of war is the truth. We have indoctrinated or young people to point that they don't what war is about.
    On Memorial Day weekend we hear comments about those that fought and died for the flag, young men fought in Vietnam, Korea and other countries around the world to protect our religious freedom, freedom of speech and other rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
    The fact of the matter is that the Revolutionary War was fought for our freedoms. The war we have now to protect those freedoms and rights is an internal one.
    This country has got to stop lying and misleading its young men and women about the necessity war.

  103. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.25

    Barry absolutely nailed it:

    "I have yet to see anyone argue against same sex marriage rights who isn't doing so based on anything but their religious conviction."

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