Minnesota Marriage Case May Proceed to Trial


Minnesota’s Supreme Court, in declining to review a Court of Appeals decision that the case has merit, has allowed a suit challenging Minnesota’s statutory ban on gay marriage to proceed to a lower court hearing.

Reports the MinnPost:

On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court declined to review a case brought by three same-sex couples who claiming the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against them and against the son of one of the pairs.

The plaintiffs, who were all legally married elsewhere,†filed suit [PDF] in 2010 in state court after Hennepin County refused to issue them marriage licenses. After a trial court judge dismissed the suit, the couples, who constitute the nonprofit†Marry Me Minnesota, appealed. In January, the Court of Appeals overturned the dismissal ruling.

The Supreme Courtís decision not to review the case means the matter may now proceed to trial in Hennepin County. Thereís very little chance it will be resolved before next fallís amendment vote.

Previously, Plaintiffs attempted to challenge the state’s ban but, as noted above, a Hennepin County court dismissed the suit citing a 1971 Minnesota Supreme Court decision called†Baker vs. Nelson . The Court of Appeals overturned that dismissal saying, among other important details, that since Baker the Court had found that discrimination based on sexual orientation did not serve sufficient governmental interest. The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, but with the Supreme Court declining to hear the appeal, it means the matter can now go ahead to trial.

Interestingly, Plaintiffs have not received the full backing of LGBT rights groups in this case. While of course rights advocates support the arguments themselves, they fear the case maybe unhelpful as it comes at a time when the state’s GOP has managed to steer voters toward a ballot†measure codifying the state’s existing ban on same-sex marriage and writing discrimination into the constitution.

However, the very fact that Plaintiffs require the courts to step in to protect their rights should in the first place be a clear indication that something has gone very wrong in terms of civil liberty. It will be the job of marriage equality proponents then to educate others that this is not about seeking judicial activism but the affirmation of equal protection.

That will be no small task though given that the judicial activism meme has proved incredibly powerful in states like Iowa.


Related Reading:

Obama: MN Gay Marriage Ballot ‘Divisive’ & ‘Discriminatory’

Teens Reject ‘Gay Marriage is Like Bestiality’ Talk

Anti-Gay Minnesota Groups Face Campaign Donations Scrutiny


Image used under the stock.xchng user license with thanks to gmarcelo.


CV M5 years ago

Human rights, civil rights- aren't they meant for humans? So that means everyone not just christian heterosexuals and bigots!

Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

If you think homosexuality is a sin then don't marry someone of the same sex!!!

David Johnson
David Johnson5 years ago

Kudos to the Plaitniffs on this important civil rights issue! To borrow a line from thatgreat civil rights anthem/hymn, "We shall overcome..someday"

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin5 years ago

I made a video about why Homosexuals should have equal rights. It’s at my YouTube channel Zarrakan, and here’s the link:


Watch it, share it, and join the fight against the evil Homophobes.

Lauren B.

More nonsense by states.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

Stephaine H. why do christians like you, pick and choose as to what rules in the bible to follow? Also, imgine what it would feel like if you loved and built a life with someone for 60 years, and that person has a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital. You were never legally able to marry them, even though you grew old with this person, you made finicial decisions together, decided which home to live in, what tv company to use and whether or not to have kids. But, here you are, in the hospital waiting room, in tears because since you were never allowed to marry, the doctors cannot tell you any information about your partner's well-being. You partner dies and they call the next-of-kin, who may or may not consider you family, and you have no idea. If you are lucky, and your partner's family considered you their spouse, you will be able to make all the decisions for that person and keep everything you've built without a legal battle. If they never accepted your relationship, you better how that there was a will in place, and that it will be respected. This is why us gays need the LEGAL protection of being married. Getting married by a religious that doesnt have the authority to sign the marriage license doesnt mean crap in the eyes of the law. We want legal protection, i for one will not have a chruch wedding, i am a pagan and offended that i am expected to take your book seriously. your book does not dictate my life, and if there really is such a cold-hearted god that only

Jan N.
Jan N5 years ago

Civil rights conferred or denied by majority vote should make you very afraid, Stephanie, as sooner or later it will come down to something you care about.

Your "homosexuality is a sin" claim is too ridiculous to address.

Stephanie Hungerford

I think if the people of Minnesota get to vote and decide to protect marriage as between a man and a woman that the majority have spoken. The Bible states that Homosexuality is a sin. legalizing these same sex unions doesn't change the fact that homosexuality will always be a sin. And if the people of Minnesota do not want to support the unions of people involved in this sin more power to them. They aren't banning Gays and Lesbians from living together they just do not get the benefits of marriage.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

Keep pushing forward for equality...

John B.
John B5 years ago

Good news Steve. Thanks for posting.