A United States Supreme Court ruling has legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country, striking down Nebraska’s definition, which limited marriage to one man, one woman.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that marriage is a fundamental constitutional right and that states must recognize the union of same sex couples.
The office of Gov. Pete Ricketts issued the following statement:
“The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken and ruled state same-sex marriage bans to be unconstitutional. While 70 percent of Nebraskans approved our amendment to our state constitution that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman, the highest court in the land has ruled states cannot place limits on marriage between same-sex couples. We will follow the law and respect the ruling outlined by the court.”
Attorney General Doug Peterson said the state will comply with the Supreme Court ruling.
“Recognizing the rule of law, the State of Nebraska will comply with the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell. Nebraska officials will not enforce any Nebraska laws that are contrary to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell,” Peterson said at the end of a long written response to the ruling issued by his office.
In the statement, Peterson criticized the ruling.
Today five Supreme Court Justices created a new constitutional right based upon sexual choices. The Constitution doesn’t speak, one way or the other, to the question of same-sex marriage. Under our system of federalism, the definition of marriage as a male-female union is properly a matter of state law. I agree with Chief Justice Robert’s contention that “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent.”
The Court overstepped its proper role in our system of government. Instead of interpreting and applying the law, the Court invented a new constitutional right. Nothing in the Constitution mandates a nationwide redefinition of marriage. Sadly, the Court stripped all Americans of our freedom to debate and decide marriage policy through the democratic process. The freedom to democratically address the most pressing social issues of the day is the heart of liberty. The Court took that freedom from the people.
Both Ricketts and Sasse are Republicans.
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, issued the following statement after the Supreme Court handed down its decision on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges:
“Today’s ruling is a disappointment to Nebraskans who understand that marriage brings a wife and husband together so their children can have a mom and dad. The Supreme Court once again overstepped its Constitutional role by acting as a super-legislature and imposing its own definition of marriage on the American people rather than allowing voters to decide in the states.”
Congressman Brad Ashford, a Democrat, issued this statement:
“I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling which makes clear that discrimination against anyone based on their sexual orientation has no place in America. Same-sex marriage bans impose countless burdens and indignities on gay and lesbian couples and their children and serve no legitimate governmental objective. Today the Court moved to guarantee equal protection under the law, as our Constitution promises, by striking down same-sex marriage bans throughout the country.”
“This decision does not ask individuals to abandon their principles on the issue, but rather, to accept that this country is overwhelmingly diverse, and we must embrace those who might not hold our same beliefs. The many differences of individuals are what make this a great nation. As we celebrate this decision I commit to continue working for equality for all Nebraskans in the future.”