Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Gay Marriage In Nebraska

Nebraska may become the 38th state to recognize marriage equality. U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down Nebraska's unconstitutional ban on gay & lesbian marriage Monday that was unfortunately appealed within an hour by their homophobic attorney general's office. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska had sued the state in November on behalf of 7 gay & lesbian couples challenging the ban, which also prohibits civil unions & legalized domestic partnerships. Judge Bataillon stated in his 34-page ruling, "All of the plaintiffs have further demonstrated psychological harm & stigma, on themselves & on their children, as a result of the non-recognition of their marriages. The plaintiffs have been denied the dignity & respect that comes with the rights & responsibilities of marriage. The notion that some children should receive fewer legal protections than others based on the circumstances of their birth is not only irrational — it is constitutionally repugnant." One of the plaintiffs Susan & Sally Waters of Omaha have been together for 17 years & were legally married in California in 2008. They returned to their native Nebraska in 2010. Sally Waters was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2013 & stated that without formal recognition of their marriage, her spouse won't receive the same tax & Social Security benefits to care of the couple's children as well as having to pay an 18% inheritance tax on half of the property they share including their family home. Judge Bataillon did not issue a stay on his ruling while the case is being appealed but ordered it not to go into effect until March 9th. With gay marriage headed to the US Supreme Court in the next few months hopefully this will be a win for marriage equality.
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