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Ring Still Shining; Marry Whom You Like, Says Supreme Court

Quick check…

Cory's wedding ring, 13 years on...
Cory’s wedding ring, 13 years on…

…yup, still shining, even after the United States Supreme Court ruled that every state in the Union, including South Dakota, must recognize same-sex marriage… or is the laws of this land shall now call it, marriage.

I invite your favorite passages from the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. I find these words useful:

The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the aban- donment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential. These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution. Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations [Syllabus, Obergefell v. Hodges, United States Supreme Court, 2015.06.26].

Nancy and Jennie, Jeremy and Clay, Lynn and Monica, Krystal and Kaitlynn, Barbara and Ashley, Greg and Mark, go get your marriage licenses. Attorney General Marty Jackley says you can.

I’m checking again… that ring might be shining a bit more brightly. Another great day for America.

Update 15:17 CDT: The White House official Twitter account today flies this icon:

Rainbow White House, displayed as White House Twitter icon, 2015.06.26
Rainbow White House, displayed as White House Twitter icon, 2015.06.26

And this ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.

…We are big and vast and diverse, a nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, different experiences and stories but bound by the shared ideal that no matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny.

We are people who believe every child is entitled to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect [President Barack Obama, remarks on Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015.06.26].

Change, said candidate Obama in 2008. Change we have.


  1. Roger Cornelius 2015-06-26

    Pennington County issued its first same-sex marriage license.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-26


    I rarely cry, but I did cry when I saw this on the Strib online. For people who’ve often been treated as less than human, this kind of affirmation is almost beyond words.

    In the 1970s my cousin came out as gay. He escaped from his violent, wrathful father and disappeared. One of his sisters heard from him a decade later, but no one knows where he is or even if he’s still alive now. This may be too late for Patrick, but there are tens of thousands who are feeling more loved and accepted, even celebrated.

    BTW, June is Pride Month. Perfect timing. Those Pride celebrations are going to be better than ever.


  3. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-26

    I never, in my lifetime, expected to read this: “Pennington County issued its first same-sex marriage license.”

    Thanks for the news Roger. The LBTG people I know in RC must be almost delirious with happiness!

  4. Jenny 2015-06-26

    West River cowboys, please, do not be afraid to come out of the closet. You have the law on your side, now. You are free to be who you really are. :)

  5. Roger Cornelius 2015-06-26

    They were Melissa Edison and Misty Collins, congratulations to them!!

  6. Roger Cornelius 2015-06-26

    In a quick one two punch to the GOP, President Obama has solidified his legacy.

    He capped his victorious week with an overwhelming eulogy for Rev. Pinckney in Charleston this afternoon.

    Doesn’t sound like a lame duck president to me.

  7. Nathan 2015-06-26

    Congratulations to everyone that this impacts. It’s about time.

  8. Jenny 2015-06-26
    Here’s a beautiful song written by gay activist Melissa Etheridge herself! I dedicate this song to all gay rights supporters, and she wrote this song after she came out years ago.

  9. Lawrence Novotny 2015-06-26

    Wow. I can’t believe is moving this fast. I received this PR today.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 26, 2015

    CONTACT: Barb Buhler, (605) 773-3361

    South Dakota Prepared To Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses

    PIERRE, S.D. – In response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage, the Department of Health has updated its electronic vital records system and is prepared to issue gender neutral licenses as of 1 p.m. today.

    Couples can request marriage licenses at any county register of deeds office in the state. The electronic system will now show two “spouse” fields, rather than “bride” and “groom.” The state’s system is also able to issue certified copies that can be used for legal purposes, such as driver’s licenses.

    Ceremonial copies of marriage licenses will continue to be available at county register of deeds. Copies with gender neutral language will be available within the next week.

    – 30 –

    Barb Buhler

    Public Information Officer

    South Dakota Department of Health


  10. Flipper 2015-06-26

    From the South Dakota Attorney General’s twitter feed:

    SD Attorney General @SDAttorneyGen

    “Divided US Supreme Court Holds State Marriage Laws Prohibiting
    Same-sex Marriage Unconstitutional…”

    So Jackley feels the need to add “divided US Supreme Court”. Really? What’s the point? A 5-4 ruling holds the same weight as 7-2 or 9-0.


  11. larry kurtz 2015-06-26

    NPR just aired an interview with Marty Jackley. He reaffirmed why South Dakota will always be a flyover state.

  12. jerry 2015-06-26

    When was the last unanimous supreme court decision? Probably the 12th of never. The court is always divided or nearly always divided. If it always were the same, then there would be one dude in a black robe and it damn sure would not be Clarence Thomas. Jackley wants to be important so badly, but he will always be a burr head.

  13. Donald Pay 2015-06-26

    America! This country never ceases to improve itself. Sometimes it’s one step forward, two steps back, but we keep plugging away toward a more perfect union. This is a step forward. Unfortunately, while gays can get married, they still face discrimination in employment, housing, etc., in many states.

    Wisconsin has had same sex marriage for over a year. After about a month of conservative caterwauling all the hysteria died down, and people started accepting it as the new normal. There were a lot of news reports on same sex marriage ceremonies at first. That’s all died down now. Getting gay married now is not news, and is not controversial in the least. Oh, some people still cluck about it. Walker, of course, has to pretend he cares to keep money rolling in. Not surprisingly, none of the dire predications by the usual suspects about how gay marriage would ruin straight marriage has come about. I’ve got two lady friends who married each other about a year ago. They are still together, and that’s quite a statement given they have two teenagers at home. They wanted to get married for their children, and as soon as they were allowed to, they did. Gay marriage is the most pro-family policy we’ve seen in a long while.

  14. happy camper 2015-06-26

    Civil Unions (for all) would still be better IMO, but who am I to gripe. It’s a huge step forward.

  15. Douglas Wiken 2015-06-26

    “Civil Unions (for all) would still be better IMO, but who am I to gripe. It’s a huge step forward.”

    Religions better get going on the Civil-Unions-For_Government;-Marriage for Religions movement . The separation would be good for both government and religions and for all who care for neither or only one of the above.

  16. bearcreekbat 2015-06-26

    Reading the four dissents is a trip through Wonderland – I think Scalia plays the role of the Queen of Hearts, “a foul-tempered monarch, that Carroll himself pictured as “a blind fury” . . . .”

  17. Roger Cornelius 2015-06-26

    With today’s ruling, can we now drop the same-sex marriage thing and just call it marriage?

  18. mike from iowa 2015-06-26

    The lasy unanimous decision I can recall was the one that said Clinton,as Potus,was subject to depositions by Paula Jone’s lying lawyers. There have prolly been others.

    Here are some photos taken at what many consider the birthplace of the LGBT movement in New York. Thanks to Zach Roberts.

  19. mike from iowa 2015-06-26

    There have been 20,not 29 unanimous decisions.

  20. Flipper 2015-06-26

    But, of course, the Catholic Church isn’t havin’ any of it! Here’s a statement from Bishop Paul Swain…

    “The 5-4 decision of the United States Supreme Court redefining marriage is not a surprise but still a sad development.
    I fully support the statement made by the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, and its characterization of the Court’s decision as harmful to the common good.
    I also fully concur in his call to be people of faith, hope and love. Faith in the unchanging truth of marriage as God intended; hope that this truth will once again prevail in our society; and love of all our neighbors even those who disagree or punish us for our faith and moral convictions.
    On Monday, June 29 beginning at 7:00 PM at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, a previously- scheduled prayer service will be held in conjunction with our annual Fortnight for Freedom. This coordinated effort of the US bishops seeks to raise awareness of threats to our protected religious liberty. The recent ruling and other examples of intrusion into protected freedoms will be addressed more fully at that time.
    Saint Thomas More and Saint Joseph our patrons, pray for us.”

  21. larry kurtz 2015-06-26

    Joe Kurtz!

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-26

    Bishop Swain can sit on a tack. This ruling advances freedom. It does not threaten freedom. If Bishop Swain doesn’t want to get married to a gay man, he doesn’t have to.

    Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal says we should get rid of a Supreme Court that is capable of producing words of this power:

    No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

    The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed [Justice Anthony Kennedy, majority opinion, Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015.06.26].


  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-26

    The more important question: how many of those divided decisions are not recognized as the law of the land?

  24. 96Tears 2015-06-26

    “I would have preferred for this change to come through the democratic process, rather than the courts,” Daugaard said. “We are a nation of laws, and the state will follow the law.”

    So, Governor DumbDumb, how did that apply to your circumvention of the democratic process when THE PEOPLE passed the measure to increase the state’s minimum wage. DD, you’re just a creep.

  25. Don Coyote 2015-06-26

    @cah: Of course Ol’ “Whiplash” Roberts excoriates his own court:

    “But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens — through the democratic process — to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”


    “Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer.”


    “If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

    Not certain where this justice was yesterday when he himself legislated from the bench, but either way the Constitution lays in tatters after two days. Qué será, será.

  26. bearcreekbat 2015-06-26

    Don Coyote, I may have missed it, but did you have the same reaction after the decision in Citizens’United?

  27. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-26

    Yip, yip, yippee! Let the bullies and fear mongers cry and carry on. They must do that, for they have nothing left. Hahahahahahahaha!

  28. Jenny 2015-06-26

    Apparently, “all men are created equal” doesn’t mean a damn thing to people like Don C and his type.

  29. Wayne Pauli 2015-06-26

    What a great week to be an American…Make that a Democrat American…GOP kind of on a losing streak…Confederate flag, ACA, Marriage for all…I guess 3 strikes and you are out…

  30. Gayle 2015-06-26

    Once or twice a year, on some issues, I go on I did and ….well you all can guess.
    I am going to be crass and added something some of those folk can think about for a minute. There was a poster who said homosexual acts were icky and it said so in the Bible. So…………what does the Bible say about a woman giving a man, supposedly her husband, a blow job? It spills the seed?

  31. mike from iowa 2015-06-27

    ormer Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said: “I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”

    Chief Justice Roy Moore of Aladamnbama said much the same thing. Apparently,cases decided not in their favor are sufficient grounds to ignore laws of the land.

  32. happy camper 2015-06-27

    Draw your own conclusion, but Clarence Thomas wrote that one’s liberty and dignity should be shielded from the government — not provided by it: The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

  33. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-27

    Interesting that the press release Lawrence provides above said the Department of Health was ready to issue marriage licenses to all at 1 p.m. yesterday, but that after 5 p.m., SDPB was still reporting that the DOH had not acted and that counties were thus still waiting to issue.

  34. C 2015-06-27

    Let’s be aware and careful.
    Today’s ruling did nothing to change people’s individual stance on homosexuality. There is no law that can mandate how a person feels positively or negatively about anything. No law can change an opinion, ever.
    Today guaranteed that, in the eyes of the law, any person may marry and receive equal treatment of such a union. The same laws and privileges that existed for heterosexuals now belongs to everyone.
    This does not change deep seeded beliefs which still exist and will continue to exist.
    Let’s hope today brings us a step closer to understanding how to treat one another with the due compassion, grace, and dignity which belongs to us all…… equally.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-27

    Don, read the examples Happy offers. Certain rights are not subject to democratic vote. We do not imperil democracy (or marriage) by guaranteeing equal rights to all citizens.

  36. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-27

    Gayle, Justice Roberts discussed sodomy laws and said this decision and the prior decision to strike down penalties for irreligious sex acts were different: Roberts says banning same-sex marriage does not create any crime or penalty and thus does not intrude on privacy the way bans on objectionable sex acts did. Roberts ignores the penalty same-sex couples faced in not being denied legal rights with respect to the partners and children whom they love.

    Religious folks don’t lose any more freedom from this decision than they did from the Court’s rejection of sodomy bans. Christians can still call homosexuals sinners. Christian ministers can still decline to perform marriages of people whom they deem unfit for marriage.

  37. happy camper 2015-06-27

    Acceptance will take time, but when people see it openly and with no negative ramifications a couple generations down the line will be different. A white friend and her black boyfriend who travel together have no problems in Denver, DC, and northern California, but now that they are in Arkansas she says they are stared at disapprovingly. There are still places where mixed relationships are frowned upon. Clarence Thomas wants to live in the dark ages.

  38. happy camper 2015-06-27

    My gay Native American friend is happy about the new law, but thinks it’s very wrong the states are moving against the Confederate flag. When asked how that is different from Natives not wanting mascots and names like Redskins he has pretty much gone to his unhappy place other than to say America is going crazy. People often don’t question their own way of thinking I find, but why they get so angry about it is a mystery to me.

  39. Jenny 2015-06-27

    Organized religion has lost much credibility these days. Holier than thou Catholic Archbishop Nienstedt of the St Paul and Minneapolis diocese stepped down b/c he is being under investigation to have made homosexual advances toward men. This, the same man who led the anti-gay rallying cry and raised millions of dollars to try to stop gay marriage in MN in 2012. Nienstedt in 2012 said that “homosexuality is a result of psychological trauma”.
    I don’t understand how practicing Catholic democrats put up with this BS.

  40. larry kurtz 2015-06-27

    Why SCOTUS chose to review Obergefell v. Hodges knowing Justice Kennedy would vote to uphold marriage equality remains a mystery.

  41. bearcreekbat 2015-06-27

    larry, perhaps that is why they granted cert – the 4 liberals believed that Kennedy would join them. All it takes for cert is 4 of the 9 judges voting to grant the petition.

  42. larry kurtz 2015-06-27

    thanks, bat: that makes sense.

  43. leslie 2015-06-27

    hahahahahahahaha. what a response to a lobbied chair (now featuring a “shantel krebs”) of a republican state attorneys general assn. (RAGA)! 27 states smacked down by a few smart supreme court justices. RAGA recently criticized and dismissed in California ballot initiative case, of “representing egg producers interests rather than a susbstantial statement of their populations”.

    wiki scott pruitt (former chair)

    republican states attorneys general at the trough. what say you, jackley?

  44. Roger Cornelius 2015-06-27

    Happy Camper,

    About your gay Native American friend supporting marriage equality and being opposed to removing the American Swastika, all groups and segments of society have conflicting or inconsistent opinions that some times don’t make sense or are logical.

    After the Civil War, under the Department of War, tribes began forming their own police forces on the reservation, when Valentine McGillicuddy, Pine Ridge Indian Agent at the time, issued confederate unions for the newly formed police force to wear, they refused. Even with their own conflicts with the government many tribes supported the USA in the Civil War.

    It is like those that say, “I support same-sex marriage, but I wish they would call it civil unions”, what the hell is the difference? Do you see and understand the conflict?

    What matter is that in years to come marriage equality will just be called marriage, regardless of who is involved.

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-06-27

    civil union vs. civil marriage—curious: was anyone at the time of the Loving 1967 ruling saying they could live with giving interracial couples civil unions but not civil marriage?

  46. happy camper 2015-06-27

    Even my Lutheran sister thinks all unions sanctioned by the state should be civil and leave the rest up to personal beliefs. If your church wants to call it marriage, then so be it. If you’re not so inclined, that works too. The problem is we don’t have a true separation of church and state in this country.

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