North Dakota state officials have asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit challenging North Dakota's constitutional amendment protecting marriage, arguing that states have the right to define and regulate marriage.
"Nothing in the United States Constitution prevents the people of North Dakota from defining marriage as the legal union between a man and a woman," North Dakota Solicitor General Doug Bahr wrote, "The people of North Dakota, through the deliberative political process, retain the traditional understanding of marriage as the union between a man and a woman."
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said that it is his duty to defend the law.
This is encouraging news during a time when some officials in other states have abandoned their responsibilities to uphold and defend the laws. It is heartening that Attorney General Stenehjem is acting in the interest of North Dakotans, who overwhelmingly approved the pro-marriage constitutional amendment in 2002.
Marriage champions should celebrate this good news!