US District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled Monday morning that Nebraska’s same-same sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The decision means same-sex couples in Nebraska could get married within a week.
The federal judge issued the preliminary injunction after the case was brought to him by seven same-sex couples in the state. Bataillon called the ban an “unabashedly gender-specific infringement of the equal rights of its citizens.”
A state request was issued to stay the decision, but Bataillon denied the move but announced the injunction would go into effect on March 9 to give time for administrative work.
In 2000, Nebraskans voted to adopt a state constitution that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman – they also voted not to recognize civil unions, domestic partnerships or any similar relationship between two people of the same sex.
One of the plaintiffs in the case brought to Bataillon is Sally Waters, who currently has stage-four breast cancer and who wants to see her 2008 marriage in California recognized in Nebraska in order to allow for financial protections for the children she has with her partner.
The office of the Nebraska Attorney General is studying the decision and will present a statement at a later time.
Next week, Nebraska could become the 38th state with marriage equality.
Media Resources: Reuters 3/2/2015; ThinkProgress 3/2/2015