“Today is a day for celebration, because the love and commitment our clients share will finally be entitled to the equality and respect they deserve in the eyes of the law,” Nebraska ACLU Executive Director Danielle Conrad tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The ACLU represented seven same-sex couples which challenged the state definition of marriage constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2000. The judge sided with the couples and struck down the state law.
Conrad says the ruling is important to a significant population of the state.
“Today, Nebraska’s motto of equality before the law will ring 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,” according to Conrad.
Senior United States District Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down the state ban on same-sex marriage, yet delayed enforcement of his ruling for a week.
That gives the state time to appeal the decision.
Attorney General Doug Peterson is asking the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to keep Bataillon’s ruling from going into effect until it decides the issue. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court could decide the issue this summer.
Conrad says the ACLU is ready to defend the ruling against the state’s appeal.
In 2006, Bataillon issued a similar ruling against the constitutional amendment approved by Nebraska voters in 2000. The 8th Circuit overturned Bataillon and let the law stand.