Nebraska Gay Marriage Ban Reinstated

July 14, 2006 ( - The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a ban on same-sex marriage approved by 70% of Nebraska voters in 2000.

The Associated Press reports a US District Court judge had ruled the ban was too broad and deprived homosexuals of participation in the political process along with other rights. However, the 8 th Circuit disagreed, saying the ban was “rationally related” to state interests and did not violate the US Constitution.

Attorney General Jon Bruning said opponents of the ban “are free to gather, express themselves, lobby, and generally participate in the political process however they see fit,” and “Plaintiffs are similarly free to begin an initiative process to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, just as supporters … did,” according to the AP.

Unlike similar bans in other states, Nebraska’s ban also barred same-sex couples from many rights given to heterosexual couples, such as sharing health insurance benefits.

Separately, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that voters should have a say on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Last week, courts in Georgia (See GA High Court Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage) and New York (See NY High Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage) also ruled against same-sex marriage.