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National Marriage Celebration Tentatively Planned for September 6 at Mount Rushmore

Nancy and Jennie Robrahn, Rapid City, South Dakota, 2015.03.26
Another happy South Dakota couple! Nancy and Jennie Robrahn at Democratic town hall meeting, Prairie Edge, Rapid City, South Dakota, March 26, 2015.

If you love love, and if you love marriage, you might want to come to Mount Rushmore on September 6, 2015. Nancy and Jennie Robrahn—you know, those nice ladies who, along with five other loving, committed South Dakota couples, got the U.S. District Court of South Dakota to rule our state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional—are inviting everyone to save the date for a National Marriage Celebration. Official invitations will hit the mail chute the moment the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the same-sex marriage cases before it (hearing April 28, ruling likely end of June). The event may change if the Supreme Court rules against same-sex couples, but Justices Thomas and Scalia seem to think that outcome is unlikely. If the Court gets it right, the Robrahns tell me an officiant will be present at the Mount Rushmore event to marry new couples and reaffirm the vows of those who’ve already been at it, all beneath the solemn gaze of George, Thomas, Teddy and Abe. Wear white, wear red white and blue, definitely wear a smile.

Marty Jackley and family
Marty! Angela! You’re invited, too! Bring the kids!

South Dakota Tourism could send its dancing foam Rushmore mascots to join the celebration (oh! the marketing tie-ins! This event could bring huge dollars to the Hills!), but Marty Jackley, who also thinks marriage is cool and is welcome to join the National Marriage Celebration, has probably burned up the tax dollars that put those mascots on the bus. You see, Attorney General Jackley wasn’t happy about losing the Robrahn case in January. In his grouchiness, he made the highly unusual move of pushing for the notably conservative Eighth Circuit to expedite to May its hearing of South Dakota’s appeal even while the Supreme Court is set to hear and rule on cases that will supercede most of not all of the appellate-level ruling in Robrahn v. Daugaard.

Let’s put the situation another way: if our man Marty would have said, “Yeah, we’re appealing, but my hair’s not on fire,” he could have spared himself and his staff a trip to Omaha. He could have stayed in Pierre and focused on arresting Chad Haber and other real crooks. But did the AG choose to save the taxpayers and the loving litigants some travel money? Alas, no: AG Jackley apparently thinks its more important to tweak Nancy and Jennie one more time with mostly superfluous court action.

But the Attorney General has his obligations and aspirations. He’s using our tax dollars unwisely… but nobody’s perfect. Even (especially) imperfect folks like Marty are welcome at Mount Rushmore September 6 to tell the Founders, “Love my honey? Forever and ever? I do!”

Update 2015.04.05 17:08 CDT: The National Marriage Celebration has a nice Facebook page. They’re also inviting President Obama, who really should make this event his family-values trip to South Dakota.


  1. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-27

    I couldn’t have been more honored to meet and visit with these heroines, two incredibly feisty women.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-03-28

    Marriage sure gets confusing. If two men or women are not free to choose who they wish to marry,how is it a pastor,regardless of sincerely held religious beliefs is free to marry couples of the opposite sex? Christian religion doesn’t say boo about homosexuality so how is it a mere mortal gets to decide what their religion says or doesn’t say when their bible doesn’t say it?

    Churches receive tax exemptions for keeping their noses out of politics,as the constitution requires and yet wingnuts urge them to get involved in politics.

  3. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-28

    Wow, just look at the Robrahns! That photo makes it crystal clear why those Christianists are so afraid and consider marriage for all so dangerous! That’s one scary couple! Run everybody! Run! The End is Here!

  4. grudznick 2015-03-28

    Those look like two nice young ladies. I am glad for them and hope they have ice cream at the ice cream shop where you can see the carvings after their wedding.

  5. Craig 2015-03-30

    Question – if Jackley refuses to charge Chad Haber with a crime (which he is clearly guilty of by failing to file his campaign finance reports) doesn’t it make it incredibly difficult to charge anyone else with the same crime in the future?

    It would be one heck of a defense if a Democrat was ever charged with the same crime and they show that Jackley picks and chooses who he focuses on… perhaps based upon political party.

    In either case, I hope someone is paying attention and will use this against Jackley in his next campaign, because if he isn’t willing to do his job, then we need someone in that office that will.

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