The Freedom to Marry in North Dakota

Winning Marriage: June 26, 2015

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the freedom to marry nationwide on June 26, 2015, allowing all same-sex couples in North Dakota the ability to marry once and for all. The decision followed more than a year of marriage litigation in North Dakota.

History and the Path to Victory:

  • November 2, 2004: Opponents of the freedom to marry in North Dakota push through Constitutional Measure 1, a constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry and any other legal family status. The amendment cements clearly discriminatory language into the North Dakota Constitution.
  • 2005-2014: As Americans nationwide engage in conversations about why marriage matters, national and local advocates in North Dakota take strides toward increasing understanding of same-sex couples and their families.
  • April 2013: Polling in North Dakota shows that support for the freedom to marry nearly doubled from 2004-2012, reflecting the power of the national discussion of why marriage matters.
  • June 6, 2014: Same-sex couples and private counsel file a federal legal case seeking the freedom to marry in North Dakota, Ramsay v. Dalrymple. Read the initial complaint. In the same year, Lambda Legal files Jorgensen v. Montplaisir, building momentum for marriage in the courts. Read the initial complaint. 
  • June 26, 2015: The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of the freedom to marry, ending marriage discrimination across the country.

Groups That Actively Worked on Marriage

  • Lambda Legal is a national legal group committed to protecting LGBT people. Lambda Legal served as counsel in Jorgensen v. Montplaisir, which sought the freedom to marry in North Dakota.
  • Freedom to Marry was the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.