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.