Lawmakers in Nebraska will conduct a hearing later this year that
could lead to a ballot measure on gay marriage.
The Judiciary Committee will conduct a public hearing in October
on Nebraska's 2000 voter-approved constitutional amendment which
limits marriage to heterosexual couples.
Senator Brad Ashford, a Democrat from Omaha who chairs the
committee, said that a public debate on the issue was needed in the
wake of last month's Supreme Court decision which struck down a
provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that prohibited the
federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and
Ashford, a marriage equality supporter, said that he also wants to
explore the possibility of civil unions, the
“Would civil unions be acceptable? I think they would be,”
Ashford said. “Would gay marriage be acceptable? I don't think
According to an October, 2013 World-Herald poll of
registered voters, a greater number of Nebraskans support marriage
(32%) over civil unions (22%) for gay couples. The 2000 marriage
amendment was approved with overwhelmingly (70%) support.
Court cases challenging similar bans in other states filed in the
wake of the DOMA ruling draw heavily on the court's decision.
Similarly, supporters in Nebraska have considered a legal challenge
or a statewide petition to overturn the state constitutional