Virginia's Marriage Amendment Critics Experience Set-Back

You can help protect the sanctity of marriage by voting YES in VA in November! U.S. Court of Appeals Refuses to Set Aside Ruling that Upheld Nebraska's Marriage Amendment

St. Louis, MO - A federal court of appeals refused to set aside its prior ruling that upheld Nebraska's marriage amendment. The court denied a Petition for Rehearing en banc (by the entire panel of judges) in the case of Citizens for Equal Protection, Inc. v. Bruning. Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief in this matter in support of the constitutionality of Nebraska's constitutional marriage amendment.

In May of 2005, federal district Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down Nebraska's marriage amendment, which won passage by voters in 2000 by a margin of 70 percent. That amendment states: "Only a 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 similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska."

On July 14, 2006, the federal court of appeals reversed the ruling. The Court said the amendment "and other laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples are rationally related to legitimate state interests and therefore do not violate the Constitution of the United States." The same-sex marriage advocates then asked the court of appeals to rehear the case and set aside its ruling. The full panel of judges refused to do so and the ruling stands. The plaintiffs now have 90 days to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented, "While we rejoice in the fact that Nebraskans will finally have their wish to protect marriage, the fact that one judge arrogates to himself the power to redefine marriage is rather disturbing. Marriage is the cornerstone of the culture, and it must be protected once and for all by amending our federal and state constitutions. The people, not judges, must have the final word on marriage."