This weekend, a Rapid City same-sex couple crossed state lines into Minnesota yesterday for their wedding. But the marriage won't be recognized in their home state. Now after exchanging their vows, Nancy and Jennie Rosenbrahn prepare to be the first couple to challenge the same-sex marriage laws in South Dakota.
The newlyweds won't have much of a honeymoon period, as they plan to file a marriage lawsuit in federal court against the state in the next few weeks. Two other couples are also planning on filing lawsuits.
State legislation passed in 1996 banned same-sex marriages in South Dakota. State voters approved a Constitutional Amendment that says marriage should only be between a man and a women in 2006. The Rosenbrahn's were denied a South Dakota marriage license, which their lawyers say gives them precedent to challenge the ban legally. Director for the Black Hills Center for Equality David Patton was involved in the battle for same-sex marriage rights in Minnesota. He recently moved to South Dakota, and was shocked with what he saw in terms of marriage equality.
“I moved to South Dakota about a year ago and it feels like I took a step back in time,” Director of the Black Hills Center For Equality David Patton said.
That's when he approached the couple about challenging the law. The couple who've been together for 27 years say this decision wasn't just about them, but also for other couples across the state.