U.S. District Court Judge Karen E. Schreier today struck down South Dakota’s ban on marriage equality, saying that the six plaintiff couples in the case have “a fundamental right to marry,” according to a report by The Huffington Post.
She wrote: “South Dakota law deprives them of that right solely because they are same-sex couples and without sufficient justification.”
Schreier’s ruling is stayed, pending appeals to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Read her ruling in its entirety here.
There are two other marriage cases pending in 8th Circuit states at the district court level — one in North Dakota and one in Nebraska. One case from Arkansas, in which the trial court judge ruled in favor of marriage equality, is on appeal to the 8th Circuit Court. Iowa and Minnesota are already marriage equality states. And in Missouri, two trial court rulings are awaiting further action: one forces the state to recognize out-of-state marriages, and another has made marriage legal in St. Louis only.