Three same-sex couples want weddings, sue MN

The three couples filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County today over violation of their Constitutional rights, because they cannot marry in Minnesota.

In 2008, the three couples formed Marry Me Minnesota, an organization that was created specifically to challenge the Minnesota laws that ban same-sex marriage. Tom Trisko and John Rittman have been together for 36 years. Duane Gajewski and Doug Benson have been together for nearly 20 years and are legally married in Canada. Lindzi Campbell and Jesse Dykhuis are just starting out their lives together, and are raising two children.

The couples are challenging state law for violating their rights, and also accusing the state of not following proper procedure in its gay marriage ban. The plaintiffs are arguing that the state's Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed in 1997, violates the "single-subject" rule of the Minnesota Constitution. The rule says that multiple pieces of legislation should be voted on individually rather than passed in a bundle.

The Minnesota couples are suing just days after a federal judge in Boston heard a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (read about it here.) Ultimately, that case is expected to end up at the Supreme Court.

The Minnesota couples are seeking donations on their Web site, Marry Me Minnesota, to help pay for the costs of the legal fight.