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Gay marriage news item from last week

Nebraska court strikes down state anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment passed in last year's elections citing the 14th Amendment.

I knew this is how it would play out. :)

(This is from last week and I'm surprised I didn't hear of it sooner.)


( 8 comments — Comment )
May. 19th, 2005 12:12 am (UTC)
clearly this is the act of ACTIVIST JUDGES !!
May. 19th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
Unless, of course, they were to have ruled in the right's favor, in which case it's BRAVE JUDGES STANDING UP FOR WHAT'S RIGHT (Judge Moores, for example).
May. 19th, 2005 03:26 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
May. 19th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
Link works fine for me. Here's the jist of it:

Judge strikes down Nebraska gay marriage ban

Ruling says measure interferes with rights of gays, others

May 12, 2005 - WASHINGTON - In the first time that a federal judge has struck down a state constitutional provision limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon on Thursday declared void a provision of the Nebraska constitution that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman and that banned same-sex civil unions, domestic partnerships and other similar relationships.

Bataillon declared in his ruling that under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Nebraska cannot ban same-sex marriages and civil unions.

The ruling may call into question similar provisions in other states’ constitutions.

Nebraska voters enacted the provision five years ago, with 70 percent approving it...

[The judge] called [the law] "too narrow" because "it does not address other potential threats to the institution of marriage, such as divorce."

And it is "too broad in that it reaches not only same-sex 'marriages,' but many other legitimate associations, arrangements, contracts, benefits and policies."

The judge said the amendment’s "broad proscriptions could also interfere with or prevent arrangements between potential adoptive or foster parents and children, related persons living together, and people sharing custody of children as well as gay individuals and people inclined to align with them to promote changes in legislation..."

Matt Daniels, president of Alliance for Marriage (AFM), a group that has urged Congress to approve a federal constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexuals... predicted that "all of these state marriage amendments are going to be struck down in federal court, they are all going to go the way of Nebraska..."

But Amy Miller of the Nebraska American Civil Liberties Union [said], "This decision doesn't mean that gay people can marry, get a civil union or a domestic partnership, but it guarantees gay people the right to lobby their state lawmakers for those protections," she said.
May. 19th, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC)
I found it very interesting that 70 percent of the voters in Nebraska are in favor of banning Gay marriage. This is why the Libertarians say that "Democracy is like three wolves and a sheep voting on what's for lunch." Just because lots of people want a certain law doesn't mean it's just or fair. I'm glad it was struck down.
May. 19th, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
The overwhelming majority of voters in the 60's supported miscegenation. That doesn't mean they were right. Protecting the minorities against the wrongful will of the majority - and this is the really really important part the radical right completely ignores - IS WHAT THE COURTS WERE DESIGNED TO DO. They're not being "activist," they're serving their function.
May. 19th, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)
For my own edification, Jamie's e-mail on the Blue Feather list and my reply:

From: Jamie Picon <perfect_chef@yahoo.com>
To: bluefeather <bluefeather@bluefeather.org>
Sent: Thu, 19 May 2005 06:26:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [BF] Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

After hering about it from Joshua I googled the article. Blue skies ahead boys and girls. There is now a loop hole so it just needs to be stretched out.



Hardly a "loophole," it's a very valid Constitutional concern. However, it is that very concern that are driving the right to pass a Constitutional amendment barring gay marriages - if it's in the Constitution, it can't be ruled unconstitutional, specifically under full faith & credit (i.e., it's fine and dandy if Massachusetts wants to burn in Hell, but they'll be damned if their own state is REQUIRED to recognize, accept or legalize it themselves).

Overruling a popular vote is, of course, what the courts are specifically designed to do when necessary - protecting the rights of the minority from the will of the majority isn't "activist judges," it's called checks and balances. Sadly many people have lost sight of that and seek to change the fundamental structures of our federal legal system. After all, the vast majority of people in the 50's were against interracial marriage, but that doesn't mean they were right, and it was the courts that made sure the minority were protected from, as I believe Lincoln put it, "the tyrrany of the masses."

This is pretty much how most Constitutional law experts have said it would come down, but the fight is far from over. Good news, though, for Kentuckians.
( 8 comments — Comment )

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