Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Two advocacy groups asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday to uphold a ruling that invalidated an amendment to the Nebraska constitution banning same-sex marriage. Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief with the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that it uphold the ruling by U.S. district judge Joseph Bataillon. The Nebraska amendment that was struck down made gay people into political outcasts, making it impossible for same-sex couples even to lobby for basic domestic-partnership protections," said Tamara Lange, a lawyer with the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. "Our Constitution makes it very clear that all Americans are entitled to participate in our democracy. This law denied lesbian and gay Nebraskans an equal shot in the political process. That's not how our democracy works." Bataillon ruled in May that the measure was too broad and deprived gays and lesbians of participation in the political process, among other things. Seventy percent of Nebraska voters approved the amendment in 2000. In briefs submitted earlier, Nebraska attorney general Jon Bruning argued that the ban should be restored because it "does not violate any person's freedom of expression or association.” Advocate.com. For more information, please click here (last visited November 2, 2005, reo).