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Lesbian couple take on S. Dakota law

Jennie Rosenkranz (left) and Nancy Robrahn plan to exchange vows on Saturday in Minnesota.

Associated Press

Jennie Rosenkranz (left) and Nancy Robrahn plan to exchange vows on Saturday in Minnesota.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A lesbian couple plan to exchange vows Saturday in Minnesota, then be the first South Dakota residents to legally challenge their state’s ban on same-sex marriage and its refusal to recognize such unions.

Nancy Robrahn, 68, and Jennie Rosenkranz, 72, of Rapid City, have been together 27 years. Minneapolis lawyer Joshua Newville said Friday that he took the case after the couple was unable to find an attorney in South Dakota.

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The South Dakota Legislature passed a law in 1996 banning gay marriage. State voters reiterated the prohibition in 2006 with a constitutional amendment that says only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid. South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Alaska are the only states with a ban on same-sex marriage but no pending court cases challenging its constitutionality, according to Human Rights Campaign, a group advocating for gay rights.

Robrahn and Rosenkranz already were denied a South Dakota marriage license, which gives them standing to legally challenge the state ban.

South Dakota would be the 29th state with a marriage equality court case, Human Rights Campaign said.

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