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Attorney Challenging South Dakota’s Gay Marriage Ban May Also Take On North Dakota’s Ban

Joshua NewvilleJoshua Newville, the Minneapolis lawyer who currently represents three South Dakota gay couples in a federal class action lawsuit against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is reportedly considering a challenge to North Dakota’s ban as well.

The AP reports:

Joshua Newville says he's been contacted by interested couples in North Dakota who want to challenge the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. North Dakotans overwhelmingly supported the constitutional amendment in 2004, passing a ballot measure with 73 percent approval.

Same-sex marriage opponents say a challenge wouldn't be entirely unexpected. When Newville officially challenges the South Dakota law, North Dakota and Montana will be the only states where same-sex marriage isn't legal or a constitutional ban isn't being contested in court.

Newville, however, cautioned that he is merely “exploring the possibility” of representing couples in North Dakota and that no concrete plans have been made. 


North Dakota AG Says Man in Out-of-State Gay Marriage Can Marry Woman Without Divorcing First

In a decision that illustrates just how asinine the current patchwork, state-based solution to the gay marriage issue is, North Dakota attorney general Wayne Stenehjem has announced that individuals in out-of-state same-sex marriages can obtain marriage licenses in the state without getting divorced first. Grand Forks’s WDAZ 8 reports

Wayne StenehjemBurleigh County State’s Attorney Richard Riha said he requested the opinion after a man who still had a legal same-sex marriage in another state came to the county recorder’s office in September and applied for a marriage license to wed a woman.

“You don’t see those every day,” he said.

Riha asked Stenehjem for his opinion on whether a county recorder could issue a marriage license in such a case in which the person with the same-sex marriage hadn’t gotten a divorce.

Same-sex marriage isn’t recognized as legally valid under North Dakota’s Constitution and state law, which both explicitly define marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman. 

State law also requires that a prior marriage be dissolved or annulled before a new marriage license can be issued. 

In his opinion, Stenehjem wrote that a person’s previously valid same-sex marriage in another state isn’t recognized in North Dakota, so he or she may still obtain a valid marriage license here. The person also isn’t committing a crime by indicating on the marriage license application that he or she was single or never married, the opinion states.

Stenenhjem, however, declined to weigh in on whether or not an individual in this situation would be violating the other state’s bigamy law if he or she moved back, saying that he would “defer to state legislatures to resolve this unique issue.” 


Will Ferrell Anchors Entire Bismarck, ND Newscast as Ron Burgundy: VIDEO

Burgundy

In an extended bit of viral marketing, Will Ferrell anchored an entire real-life newscast on Saturday night in Bismarck, North Dakota as his Anchorman character Ron Burgundy. His real-life co-anchors often struggled to keep a straight face.

The AP reports:

No money changed hands, Blumhagen said, and both the movie and television station are garnering significant publicity from the numerous shares on Facebook and Twitter.

Station managers did want some assurances that the stunt wouldn't go too far, and Blumhagen said Ferrell was on board with maintaining the integrity of the newscast.

Schatz, who typically anchors the weekend newscasts alone, said she didn't learn that she'd share the dais until Wednesday. It was a complete surprise to viewers.

Watch the full newscast, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Will Ferrell Anchors Entire Bismarck, ND Newscast as Ron Burgundy: VIDEO" »


AJ Clemente, Fired for 'Gay' F-Bomb Gaffe, Appears on 'Today' Show: VIDEO

2_clemente

AJ Clemente, whose first day news anchor gaffe went around the world earlier this week, appear on the Today show this morning after being feted as David Letterman's Top Ten subject last night.

Clemente discussed the gaffe, and reiterated that he wasn't saying the word 'gay', he was trying to pronounce Tsegaye Kebede, the winner of the London Marathon, and got panicked, and that's when the cursing came out.

Added Clemente: "I would never use that slur. I definitely want to make sure people know that."

Watch the segment, and Letterman's Top Ten, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "AJ Clemente, Fired for 'Gay' F-Bomb Gaffe, Appears on 'Today' Show: VIDEO" »


Rookie North Dakota News Anchor Begins First Broadcast with 'Gay' F-Bomb: VIDEO

Clemente

NBC North Dakota Anchor AJ Clemente did not have an auspicious first day on the job, beginning his broadcast with the words "gay... f**king... sh*t". On the bright side, North Dakota viewers finally got to see something interesting on the news.

Aj_clementeWatch (warning: language), AFTER THE JUMP...

Clemente has been suspended by the station:

To all of you who are writing in...I want to apologize for an incident that occurred prior to our early newscast this evening, when one of our employees used profanity on the air.

He did not realize his microphone was on, but still, that's no excuse. WE train our reporters to always assume that any microphone is live at any time. Unfortunately, that was not enough in this case. WE can't take back what was said. The person involved has been suspended until we resolve the situation. All we can do at this point is ask for your forgiveness, and I can offer my personal assurance that I will do my best to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again under my watch.

UPDATE: AJ explains himself on Twitter.

"Tough day, Thanks for the support,We all make mistakes. Im truly sorry for mine. I'll try my hardest to come back better and learn from this...I just want to say that I did not say the word gay, I was trying to pronounce the London Marathon winners name Tsegaye Kebede...I would never disrespect anybody in that matter. Once again I'm truly sorry."

UPDATE II: AJ was fired.

Twqeet_clemente

Continue reading "Rookie North Dakota News Anchor Begins First Broadcast with 'Gay' F-Bomb: VIDEO" »


Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) Comes Out for Marriage Equality

HeitkampSenator Heidi Heitkamp has come out for marriage equality:

“In speaking with North Dakotans from every corner of our great state, and much personal reflection, I have concluded the federal government should no longer discriminate against people who want to make lifelong, loving commitments to each other or interfere in personal, private, and intimate relationships.  I view the ability of anyone to marry as a logical extension of this belief. The makeup of families is changing, but the importance of family is enduring.”


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