North Dakota

North Dakota

Ramsay v. Dalrymple 

What's Happening:

On July 22, the plaintiffs in this federal lawsuit in North Dakota seeking the freedom to marry and respect for marriages legally performed in other states filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, asking the court to rule on the briefs alone. 

Case Background:

On June 6, 2014, private counsel filed a federal lawsuit in North Dakota on behalf of seven same-sex couples challenging the state’s ban on the freedom to marry. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Fargo and challenges both North Dakota’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, as well as its refusal to respect legal marriages performed in other states. When asked for comment, state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has said “it his the constitutional duty of the attorney general to represent the state when it is sued.”

Minneapolis attorney Josh Newville (who is also representing six South Dakota couples in a similar case) filed the lawsuit on the basis that the amendment violates three tents of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: equal protection, due process, and right to travel.

“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," says the lawsuit, adding that gay couples are subject to "an irreparable denial of their constitutional rights."

The lead plaintiffs in the case are Ron Ramsay and Peter Vandervort. Other plaintiffs include Celeste and Amber Carlson Allebach; Brock Dahl and Austin Lang; Michele Harmon and Joy Haarstick; Bernie Erickson and David Hamilton; Matthew Lee Elmore and Beau Thomas Downey; and Stephanie and Siana Bock.

Jorgensen v. Montplaisir

What's Happening:

On June 9, 2014, Lambda Legal and private counsel from Faegre Baker Daniels filed a federal lawsuit in North Dakota on behalf of a same-sex couple challenging the state’s refusal to respect legal marriages performed in other states.

Case Background:

The plaintiff couple in the case is Jan Jorgensen and Cindy Phillips, who legally married in Minnesota. They have been together for 22 years and live in Cass County, ND.

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