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Stenehjem provides marriage ruling for Burleigh

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says a person who never divorced from a valid same-sex marriage in another state could legally enter into an opposite-sex marriage in North Dakota.

Burleigh County State's Attorney Richard Riha asked Stenehjem whether a person who was involved in a valid same-sex marriage in another state and never divorced could legally sign a North Dakota marriage application saying he or she was single or never married.

Stenehjem says a person could, since North Dakota does not recognize same-sex marriage as being legal.

The county says it received an inquiry from someone wanting to marry in the state.

Riha also wondered if that person would risk violating bigamy rules in the other state, but Stenehjem declined to interpret another state's law.