Another Marriage Victory

Jul 14, 2006

Lincoln, NE - A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling that stuck down Nebraska's same-sex marriage ban. U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled last year that the measure was too broad and deprived homosexuals of participation in the political process. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed that ruling. Nebraska voters approved the amendment by 70% in 2000. The Court said the amendment "and other laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples are rationally related to legitimate state interests and therefore do not violate the Constitution of the United States." Liberty Counsel filed a brief in the case, arguing in favor of the amendment.

At the time of its passage, the Nebraska marriage amendment was the broadest in the country. The amendment not only states that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, but it also prohibits same-sex marriage arrangements under another name. It thus prohibits same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. Same-sex marriage advocates targeted Nebraska in hopes of striking down the state marriage amendment under the U.S. Constitution. Today's defeat is a major blow to the same-sex marriage movement because if the broadest kind of amendment is upheld, as it was today, then the more narrow amendments can also be upheld.

In yet another victory for marriage, yesterday a judge in Connecticut denied the request of eight same-sex couples to marry. That state already allows civil unions for same-sex couples. The couples plan to appeal, saying they are not satisfied with civil unions.

Also today, rejecting a challenge by the ACLU, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that voters in November will be allowed to consider a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

In a special session held this week, Massachusetts lawmakers put off debate on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. Lawmakers could have voted to extend the day and consider this important citizen initiative, but instead put off the vote until November 9. Massachusetts is the only state to legalize same-sex marriages. On Monday the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a proposed state constitutional amendment that would overrule the court decision sanctioning same-sex marriage is permissible.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: "We are pleased that this latest attempt by the homosexual agenda to radically redefine our culture has been stopped dead in its tracks. The state has an undeniable interest in protecting marriage. Common sense and human history underscores that marriage is distinct from other personal relationships. Procreation and raising children in an optimal environment with a mom and a dad are obvious interests the state may prefer and protect. The same-sex marriage movement must be saying, 'Thank goodness it's Friday.' For the past two weeks, the same-sex marriage movement has been rocked backward by stunning court decisions in favor of traditional marriage."