Attorney General: South Dakota's definition of marriage not affe - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Attorney General: South Dakota's definition of marriage not affected by Supreme Court ruling

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Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Wednesday that South Dakota's definition of marriage, which is limited to a man and a woman, is still valid.

"After today's U.S Supreme Court decisions, South Dakota constitution and legislative enactments defining marriage to be between a man and a woman remain in effect as a matter of law," Jackley said in a news release.

In 2006, South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment making marriage valid only between a man and a woman.

On Wednesday, the Court announced its ruling on California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies government benefits to same-sex married couples. The court struck down both Proposition 8 and DOMA.

In Prop 8, the Court found that private parties lack standing to defend the constitutionality of a California law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

When California state officials refused to defend a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, private parties sought to enforce its constitutional amendment, according to a news release from the South Dakota Attorney General's Office. The Court held that only state officials and not private parties have standing in federal court to defend the constitutionality of the law.

Based upon South Dakota voters' decision to define marriage as between a man and a woman in South Dakota, the State of South Dakota joined numerous states as Amicus Curie or Friend of the Court, defending the constitutionality of California's definition of marriage, the news release stated.

In Wednesday's DOMA ruling, the U.S Supreme Court did not recognize or accept 12 states' and the District of Columbia's definitions of marriage. The decision did not resolve challenges to state marriage definitions affecting same sex marriages. The opinion and its holding are confined to only same sex marriages made lawful under state law.

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