A federal judge on Monday struck down
Nebraska's ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon
heard arguments in the case last week and promised a ruling
“[A]ll relevant state officials are
ordered to treat same-sex couples the same as different sex couples
in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the
rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage," he wrote.
Bataillon stayed his ruling until March
9 at 8 AM. Officials are expected to ask the Eighth Circuit Court of
Appeals in St. Louis for an indefinite stay on the ruling as they
pursue an appeal.
his order, Bataillon called the state's 2000 voter-approved
constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples an
“unequal provision” and an “unabashedly gender-specific
infringement of the equal rights of its citizens.”
Danielle Conrad, executive director of
the Nebraska chapter of the ACLU, applauded the ruling.
“Today is a day for celebration,”
said in a statement. “The love and commitment our clients
share will finally be entitled to equality and respect in the eyes of
the law. Today, Nebraska's motto of 'equality before the law' rings
true for gay and lesbian Nebraskans who seek to have their marriages
recognized or who seek the freedom to marry right here in our great
Gay couples can currently marry in 37
states, plus the District of Columbia.
50 clergy in Nebraska pledge to marry gay couples if ban struck
(Brief provided by Equality