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Wed Jan 11, 2017, 10:31 AM

North Dakota Senate votes down bill to amend state law to reflect legal gay marriage

North Dakota Senate votes down bill to amend state law to reflect legal gay marriage

John Hageman Forum News Service 8 hrs ago

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate voted down legislation to update state law with gender-neutral language Tuesday, about 18 months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry. ... Opponents of the Senate Bill 2043 said the change was unnecessary and dismissed arguments from supporters that failing to amend state law could leave the state open to litigation. The bill failed 15-31, with one senator absent.

The bill would have amended a variety of references to “husband and wife” in state law to “two individuals married to each other” and other similar changes. It affected parts of state law dealing with fishing licenses and adoption, along with other provisions.

Sen. Janne Myrdal, R-Edinburg, pointed to a section of the North Dakota Constitution that defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, as approved by 73 percent of the state’s voters in 2004. She also said committee testimony indicated that the change was not needed. ... “A ‘yes’ vote on Senate Bill 2043 will actually accomplish functionally nothing, though it will serve to diminish with official intent the honor and sacredness of what the human institution of marriage is described as in (the) North Dakota Constitution as it stands today,” she said.

Sen. David Hogue, R-Minot, who chaired the interim Judiciary Committee, acknowledged same-sex marriage is the law of the land, but he argued the bill “doesn’t do anything.” ... “It’s a bill that inspires and arouses a lot of passion in this chamber and elsewhere, but the bill’s not necessary,” he said.

Call Hageman at (701) 255-5607 or send email to jhageman@forumcomm.com.

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Reply North Dakota Senate votes down bill to amend state law to reflect legal gay marriage (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 2017 OP
raging moderate Jan 2017 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2017, 10:38 AM

1. Why not just call them "spouses" or something?

This is an old gender-neutral word that could work quite well, and it is traditional enough to avoid triggering homophobia.

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