Bill to update wording in ND Century Code, Constitution to reflect Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision fails

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BISMARCK, N.D. - A U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer made same-sex marriage legal in every state of the country. In North Dakota's Century Code and Constitution, however, it's still defined as between a man and a woman.

A push to update the wording in statute died on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon.

Proponents said it would have been more inclusive and could prevent future lawsuits. Opponents claimed it was unnecessary.

"A 'yes' vote on Senate Bill 2043 will mean functionally nothing, though it will serve to diminish, with official intent, the honor and sacredness of what the human institution of marriage is described as in the North Dakota Constitution as it stands today," says Sen. Janne Myrdal, R-Edinburg.

"I'm progressive enough to see, and I listen to my grandchildren. They say 'Ma, this is the way to go. This is a progressive way to look at it,'" says Sen. Carolyn Nelson, D-Fargo.

The bill failed on a vote of 15-to-31.