Nebraska Judge Strikes Down State Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge in Nebraska on Thursday struck down an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage. “The evidence supports the plaintiffs’ contention that the adoption of [the amendment] was motivated, to some extent, by either irrational fear of or animus toward gays and lesbians,” wrote US District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon in his decision overturning the amendment, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. The decision came just days before the anniversary of the first same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts.

The amendment was one of the only gay marriage bans in the country that also prohibited civil unions and domestic partnerships. The ban’s “broad proscriptions could also interfere with or prevent arrangements between potential adoptive or foster parents and children, related persons living together, and people sharing custody of children as well as gay individuals,” Judge Bataillon wrote, according to the Associated Press.

Kansas just approved a similar constitutional ban on gay marriage that prohibits granting any of the “rights and incidents of marriage” to any other relationship, according to the Star. The ruling in Nebraska may have an impact on the Kansas amendment.

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Lincoln Journal Star 5/15/05, Kansas City Star 5/16/05, 5/13/05; Associated Press 5/13/05

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