PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Same-sex marriage is legal in the United States, but South Dakota law doesn’t reflect that in codified law. Representative Linda Duba is looking to change that.
“What it does is it just aligns us with what the law of the land and it gives that certainty to those who, you know, are in marriages other than male and female, and I just think it’s the right thing to do,” Duba said Thursday.
The Respect For Marriage Act, which was signed into law in 2022, is a federal piece of legislation that requires states to recognize all marriages from states where same-sex marriage is legal. The bill enshrines other protections for same-sex couples as well in the case of Obergefell, the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage nationally, were to be overturned in the way that Roe v. Wade was.
That would mean that if a couple is married in Minnesota, their marriage would have to be recognized in a state like South Dakota where the current law does not recognize the union.
“When the Supreme Court supported same-sex marriage, basically, South Dakota then recognized all marriages, so this is just formalizing it,” Duba explained. “South Dakota has been honoring same-sex marriage people have been getting married in South Dakota, you know, all shapes, sizes, family types, this just this just reinforces it.”
Duba’s bill currently has the support of Democratic Representatives Erin Healy, Kadyn Wittman, and Kameron Nelson in the House. She anticipates some objection to the bill on religious grounds, which she understands, but is hopeful about her bill.
“What I’m hoping is that people will realize this is the law of the land,” Duba said. “So, this is not it’s not an outlier. This is the world we live in today. So, let’s just respect everyone, be kind, update the statute and move on.”
The bill has yet to be assigned to a committee in the House but once it does, Duba looks forward to an eventual hearing and discussion among lawmakers.