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Marriage by same-sex couples (SSM) in Nebraska

Part 2:
2015-MAR-02: Reactions to District Judge Bataillon's
ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Nebraska,
to be effective on MAR-09.

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Throughout this web site, the term "LGBT" refers to the
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual community.
"SSM" refers to marriage by same-sex couples.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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U.S. map with Nebraska highlighted Reactions to District Judge Bataillon's ruling which legalized same-sex marriage throughout Nebraska:

  • In anticipation of the ruling, the Heartland Clergy for Inclusion group declared in a petition to the District Court that they are ready to solemnize marriages for same-sex couples as soon as they become legal in Nebraska. The group has a membership totalling 57 clergy from the midwest. They said:

    "Based upon our religious convictions, we believe that same-sex couples should be able to legally marry in Nebraska. We stand ready to perform those marriages when the current ban is removed. ..."

    "As faith leaders and Nebraskans, we believe in loving our neighbors and treating one another as we would like to be treated — with dignity and respect. This means recognizing the love and commitment of lesbian and gay couples through marriage. Entering into a committed, loving relationship is one of life's most sacred and holy gifts. Marriage means responsibility and hard work, but it also brings life-changing protections for a family. ..."

    "... lifting the ban will remove an obstacle preventing us from ministering equally to all families in our community. The current ban on legal same-sex marriage in Nebraska discriminates against our religious beliefs and the teachings and practices of our faiths. We stand for the freedom to marry. We are ready to celebrate religious and legal marriages for Nebraska's same-sex couples." 1

  • Sarah Warbelow, the Legal Director of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) , commented:

    “All across America, LGBT people and their families are seeking the respect and dignity under the law that they deserve. This victory in Nebraska is an essential step on the journey toward full equality for all. This discriminatory barrier to marriage for committed and loving gay and lesbian couples does not protect anyone and only harms countless Nebraskan families." 2

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  • Bobby Brown, writing for the Catholic365.com web site said that the news of the District Court's ruling:

    "... elicited a sensationally positive reaction from several of my friends and peers back home in Nebraska. As I scrolled the newsfeed on Facebook, several friends posted something to the effect of 'Finally!' or 'Welcome to the 21st Century!' or 'This is the best day in our state history!'..."

    "I beg to differ. ..."

    "Moral truths existed before society. Marriage between a man and woman existed before society. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago reminds us of this fact in his Church newspaper column:

    “Sexual relations between a man and a woman are naturally and necessarily different from sexual relations between same-sex partners. This truth is part of the common sense of the human race. It was true before the existence of either Church or State, and it will continue to be true when there is no state of Illinois and no United States of America. A proposal to change this truth about marriage in civil law is less a threat to religion than it is an affront to human reason and the common good of society. It means we are all to pretend to accept something we know is physically impossible. The Legislature might just as well repeal the law of gravity.”

    A ban preventing same-sex couples from being legally married is not a “discriminatory barrier” as Miss. Warbelow asserts. The same-sex marriage ban is an appeal to truth for the good of society; it is meant to protect and perpetuate life itself.

    As this drama in Nebraska unfolds, please pray for wisdom and love to seep into the hearts of proponents of same-sex marriage and into defenders of traditional marriage, that they may honor each other with respect and dignity." 2

  • Danielle Conrad, ACLU Executive Director, issued a statement saying:

    "Today is a day for celebration. 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." 3

  • Charles Coley, who lives in Nebraska, had married another man in Iowa. Nebraska has not recognized their relationship or their marriage. Rather, the state treats them as "legal strangers" -- as roommates. He said:

    "I feel elated. It's really incredible. It's just one of those days that has been so long coming. ... I've been watching the news and the whole marriage equality battle unfold over the last 10 years." 4

  • The Nebraska Catholic Conference, which includes all of the bishops in Nebraska, issued a statement stating:

    "We are disappointed that Judge Joseph Bataillon granted an injunction today that presumes to nullify what God has written on human hearts since the beginning of time -- that marriage is between a man and a woman, and has as one of its principal purposes the procreation and rearing of children. Marriage was established by God before the state and before the Church, and the vitality of both depends on the fruitful union of husband and wife.

    It was appropriate that Judge Bataillon issued a stay of his decision, allowing for immediate legal recourse. Because his decision undermines the fundamental human right of every child to know, and as far as possible, be united with his or her mother and father, we pray for a just resolution in higher courts." 5

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  • Plaintiffs Jason Cadek and Nick Kramer, who had been married out-of-state in the past, attended a news conference, with their daughter Alice, aged three. It was organized by the American Civil Liberties Association. Cadek said:

    "It was amazing that it happened first thing in the morning, and what better way to start off the week." 5

    Currently, Cadek is considered only a "friend" to his daughter. He is not recognized by the state as Alice's father. Judge Bataillon mentioned some of the hardships experienced by the plaintiffs because their marriages are not recognized by the state. He wrote in his ruling:

    "The lack of legal parent-child relationship between the child and Jason Cadek denies their daughter important protections and resources, and causes them profound stress and insecurity." 5

  • Attorney General Doug Peterson (R) said that the definition of marriage should be left up to the state voters. Apparently referring to one of the plaintiffs' testimony before the District Court, he said:

    I don't think we can dictate our laws based on the emotional arguments of a certain class of people. We have to go through the proper constitutional process. I know that's difficult, because it has an individual impact. But we can't have our law dictated upon emotional claims." 6

    He may be referring to one of the 14 plaintiffs who has stage 4 advanced cancer. If loving, committed same-sex couples are allowed to marry, then their family would receive hundreds of state benefits and protections as well as 1,138 federal benefits and protections, just as all married couples are routinely given. Their children would be protected financially after her death. Currently, the state treats the couple as "legal strangers."

    Peterson asked Judge Bataillon to extend his stay so that same-sex couples would be unable to marry on MAR-09. This was denied. Within an hour, the Attorney General had appealed the ruling to the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also asked the 8th Circuit to grant an emergency stay. 7

  • Governor Pete Ricketts (R) issued a statement that said:

    "Today, a judge took steps to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by 70 percent of Nebraskans that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

    The definition of marriage is an issue for the people of Nebraska, and an activist judge should not substitute his personal political preferences for the will of the people. I will continue to work with Attorney General Doug Peterson to uphold Nebraska’s Constitution and the will of the people of our great state." 8

Webmaster's comment (bias alert):

If the total number of marriage licenses in Nebraska were limited, so that adding marriages by same-sex couples would mean that fewer opposite-sex couples would be allowed to marry, then the Catholic Church would have justification for worrying about the state's birth rate. But attaining marriage equality should have the opposite effect. The same rate of marriages by opposite-sex couples should continue into the future; opposite-sex marriage will not be nullified. In addition if opposite-sex couples are allowed to marry, then many of them will feel sufficiently secure to bring children into their family, either by assisted fertility methods, surrogate motherhood, or adoption. The total number of births should increase. Of course, the Church opposes many fertility methods, surrogate motherhood, and adoption by same-sex couples, but that is a separate problem.

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This topic is continued in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Leonardo Blair, "More Than 50 Clergy in Nebraska Pledge to Perform Same-Sex Marriages in Church If Ban Is Overturned in State," Christian Post, 2015-FEB-27, at: http://www.christianpost.com/
  2. Bobby Brown, "Appeal to Nebraska (And the World)," Catholic365.com, 2015-MAR-04, at: http://www.catholic365.com/
  3. "Judge strikes down Nebraska's same-sex marriage ban, state appeals," KETV-TV, 2015-MAR-02, at: http://www.ketv.com/
  4. Lena Tillett & Joe Chiodo, "Federal Judge Lifts Ban On Same-Sex Marriage," WOWT-TV, 2015-MAR-03, at: http://www.wowt.com/
  5. Mega Sugiarito, "Divided Response For Lifted Same-Sex Marriage Ban," 1011 News, 2015=MAR-03, at: http://www.1011now.com/
  6. Margery Beck & Grant Schulte, "Federal Judge Blocks Nebraska's Same-Sex Marriage Ban," ABC News, 2015-MAR-02, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
  7. Chris Geidner, "Nebraska Officials Ask Appeals Court To Stop Same-Sex Marriages From Starting," BuzzFeed News, 2015-MAR-03, at: http://www.buzzfeed.com/
  8. "Judge Clears Way for Gay Marriage in Nebraska," CBN News, 2015-MAR-03, at: http://www.cbn.com/

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Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > Same-sex marriage > Menu > Nebraska > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality> Same-sex marriage > Menu > Nebraska > here

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Originally posted: 2015-MAR-06
Last updated 2015-MAR-06
Author: Alton Thompson
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