US: Judge strikes down Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage

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A judge in Nebraska has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled today that Nebraska can no longer enforce a law that prevents same-sex marriages.

The judge ruled: “All 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.”

A stay has not been placed on the ruling – meaning couples will be able to marry from next Monday, March 9 at 8am.

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry said: “Every day that loving and committed couples are denied the freedom to marry in the decreasing number of states that still discriminate against same-sex couples and their families is a day of tangible hardships and indignity.

“Fortunately, Nebraska may soon no longer be one of those discriminating states, thanks to today’s strong ruling from yet another court – the 65th in the past two years – affirming the freedom to marry.

“It is time for the US Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution and end marriage discrimination for all Americans.”

Danielle Conrad of ACLU Nebraska said: “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 state.”

Nebraska’s Attorney General has pledged to appeal the ruling – but the case is unlikely to progress before the Supreme Court weighs in on an existing case from four other states.