It may be the first of its kind in North Dakota.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has been asked for a formal opinion involving North Dakota’s marriage and divorce laws.
The request comes from Burleigh County. The County Recorder received a request from someone wanting a marriage license. That individual had been in a same-sex marriage in a state that recognizes those marriages. The parties in that marriage separated – but did NOT divorce. Now, the individual wants a North Dakota marriage license to wed someone of the opposite sex.
The questions for the attorney general: Since North Dakota does NOT recognize same-sex marriages, but North Dakota’s marriage license laws require that someone previously married had to have a formal divorce before being allowed to buy a license, can the recorder issue that license? Also, if the couple is allowed to marry in North Dakota, but then moves to a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, is that bigamy?
Stenehjem has been asked to weigh in on the issue.