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LGBT rights in Nebraska

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Nebraska face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Nebraska. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples do not have the same protections as opposite-sex couples.

Laws against homosexuality Edit

All sodomy laws were repealed at the state level in June 1977.[1]

Recognition of same-sex relationships Edit

Nebraska voters adopted a constitutional amendment in November 2000 that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman and prohibited the recognition of same-sex relationships under any other name.[2]

A federal court challenge to the constitutional amendment, Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, won in the U.S. District Court in 2005,[3] but lost in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006.[4] Opponents of the constitutional amendment did not seek review of that decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.[5]

Nebraska has extended hospital visitation rights to same-sex couples through a designated visitor statute.[6]

On August 30, 2013, the Lancaster County District Court refused to grant a divorce to two women who married in Iowa in 2009. Bonnie Nichols filed an appeal with the state appellate court. In March 2014, the Nebraska Supreme Court accepted a petition to hear the case, Nichols v. Nichols,[7] but in June dismissed it as premature for procedural reasons.[8]

Waters v. Heineman Edit

The ACLU filed a lawsuit, Waters v. Heineman, in federal court on November 17, 2014, on behalf of seven same-sex couples.[9] The plaintiffs are seeking to overturn the Nebraska same-sex marriage ban and to have their out-of-state marriages recognized.[10]

Adoption and parenting Edit

Nebraska permits adoption by individuals. There are no explicit prohibitions on adoption by same-sex couples. Second-parent adoptions by one party to a same-sex couple terminates the parental rights of the other party.[11]

On August 27, 2013, three same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the state seeking the right to serve as foster and adoptive parents. It claimed that the state's policy against allowing two unrelated adults to adopt has been consistently enforced only against same-sex couples.[12]

Discrimination protection Edit

No provision of Nebraska law explicitly addresses discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity.[13]

Hate crime laws Edit

Nebraska's hate crimes law covers hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not those based on gender identity.[14]

Public opinion Edit

An August 2011 poll found that 42% of Nebraskans were in favor of same sex marriage and 51% were opposed. The polling results also showed that a majority of Omaha residents favor legal gay marriage. 54% of the city favored gay marriage and 40% were opposed.[15]

A September 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 36% of Nebraska voters thought same-sex marriage should be legal, while 54% thought it should be illegal and 10% were not sure. A separate question on the same survey found that 64% of Nebraska voters supported the legal recognition of same-sex couples, with 30% supporting same-sex marriage, 34% supporting civil unions, but not marriage, 34% favoring no legal recognition and 2% not sure.[16]

See also Edit


Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at LGBT rights in Nebraska. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

References Edit

  1. William N. Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003 (NY: Penguin Group, 2008), 201n, available online, accessed April 10, 2010
  2. David Orgon Coolidge, "Evangelicals and the Same-Sex 'Marriage' Debate," in Michael Cromartie, ed., A Public Faith: Evangelicals and Civic Engagement (Washington, DC: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 2003), 98-99, available online, accessed April 11, 2011
  3. Omaha World-Herald: Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, May 12, 2005 , accessed April 11, 2011
  4. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit: Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning, July 14, 2006, accessed April 11, 2011
  5. (2014) Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court and Beyond. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 213. Retrieved on July 25, 2014. 
  6. Hospital Visitation Rights. Hrc.org. Retrieved on 2013-12-05.
  7. Bergin, Nicholas. "Same-sex couple asks Nebraska court to allow divorce", March 28, 2014. Retrieved on April 1, 2014. 
  8. "Nebraska Supreme Court judges say appeal premature in same-sex marriage case", Omaha World-Herald, June 13, 2014. Retrieved on July 25, 2014. 
  9. Pluhacek, Zach. "7 couples sue over Nebraska’s gay marriage ban", Lincoln Journal Star, November 17, 2014. Retrieved on November 17, 2014. 
  10. ACLU Files Lawsuit - Seeks Freedom to Marry for Nebraskans. Retrieved on November 17, 2014.
  11. Human Rights Campaign: NebraskaAdoption Law, accessed April 11, 2011
  12. O'Brien, Brendan. "Couples challenge Nebraska ban on gay adoptive and foster parents", August 27, 2013. Retrieved on August 29, 2013. 
  13. Human Rights Campaign: Nebraska Non-Discrimination Law, accessed April 11, 2011
  14. Human Rights Campaign: Nebraska Hate Crimes Law, accessed April 11, 2011
  15. Poll: Gay-marriage opposition dips. Livewell Nebraska. Retrieved on 2011-08-19.
  16. [1], Nebraska supports Civil Unions September 30-October 2, 2011

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