Minnesota marriage records are up for review in the state Supreme Court, which is set to rule on whether to reinstate marriage licenses issued by the Minnesota Department of Health, which was suspended for years last year because of an outbreak of the coronavirus.
The issue comes amid a statewide effort to review marriage licenses, which were suspended in November after Gov.
Mark Dayton signed an executive order lifting a state ban on same-sex marriage.
The order came after a state judge ruled last month that Minnesota’s marriage license ban violated the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The judge said the state should not have imposed its ban on licenses to the federal government, but that the state’s ban did not prevent Minnesota from continuing to issue marriage licenses.
The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Minnesota, is being brought by the ACLU and the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for Marriage.
The court could rule before the Supreme Court on Jan. 16 on whether the state constitution bars marriage licenses from the federal courts.
A hearing on the lawsuit was scheduled for Friday.
The state has not yet responded to the ACLU lawsuit.
Earlier this month, the Minnesota Supreme Court said it would review the suspension of the state license ban.
The decision followed a hearing last month by a federal judge in Minneapolis, who found that the ban on gay marriage in the Twin Cities violated the Defense of Marital Partnership Act, a 1994 law that prohibits federal recognition of marriages between same-gender couples.
The U.N. convention on the rights of the child was held last year in Minnesota, and Dayton signed a state executive order allowing same-gendered couples to marry.
He later signed an amendment to the state budget that would allow the marriage licenses to be issued to same- sex couples.
A federal judge last year ordered the state to resume issuing marriage licenses after the governor’s executive order was suspended.
Dayton said in a statement the suspension was an important step toward ensuring Minnesota remains a place where all Minnesotans can marry without discrimination.
The governor is expected to make an announcement on whether he will seek re-election in November.