Nebraska’s ‘Too Broad’ Marriage Amendment Ruled Constitutional

Traditional marriage seems to be the will of the majority of people, at least in the Mid-West. The court seems to see it the same way.

(AgapePress) – A federal court of appeals has overturned a lower-court decision and reinstated Nebraska’s ban on homosexual “marriage” almost six years after the referendum on the constitutional amendment was passed overwhelmingly by the state’s voters. The amendment had been challenged by pro-homosexual legal groups that claimed the ban was too broad.
Seventy percent of Nebraska voters approved the constitutional amendment in 2000. That amendment reads: “Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska.”
But the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Project, in conjunction with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, filed a lawsuit against the ban, saying it was too broad and deprived homosexuals of participation in the political process. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, however, had argued the ban did not violate anyone’s freedom of expression or association.
Today (July 14) the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Nebraska, disagreed with the ACLU’s and Lambda’s argument, applying what is called a “rational basis” review. The amendment, stated the court, “and other laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples are rationally related to legitimate state interests ….” Therefore, added the court, such laws, including the voter-approved amendment, “do not violate the Constitution of the United States.” (Read the court’s ruling) [PDF]
The ruling is a resounding victory for traditional marriage, says the chief counsel for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy (CLP) — and for the people of Nebraska, he adds. “The Eighth Circuit has resoundingly affirmed the will of the people of the state of Nebraska,” says attorney Steve Crampton. The court took note of the “large majority” of voters who approved the ban. The CLP had authored an amicus brief in the case.

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