Tuesday, December 17, 2013

North Dakota AG Says Non-Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Allows Issuance of License For Heterosexual Marriage To Same-Sex Spouse

In Letter Opinion 2013-L-06, (ND AG, Dec. 12, 2013), North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem concluded that since the state does not recognize same-sex marriages, a county recorder in North Dakota may issue a marriage license for a heterosexual marriage to an individual who previously entered a valid same-sex marriage in another state, even when the same-sex marriage has not been legally dissolved.  Consistent with this, the Attorney General also ruled that an individual who previously entered a same-sex marriage elsewhere would not be committing a criminal violation in North Dakota by checking the box on the marriage license application indicating that he or she is "Single/Never Married." The Attorney General concluded by stating that it would be inappropriate for him to give a legal opinion on whether the person married in these circumstances would be in violation of another state's bigamy statute if he returns to a state that recognizes both marriages. Forum News Service reports on the AG's opinion letter. [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead.]