8th Circuit delays the freedom to marry for loving, committed couples in Nebraska

Last night, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals accepted Nebraska's request for a stay pending appeal in a federal judge's ruling in favor of the freedom to marry, further delaying the rights and protections of marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples.

The request came after federal Judge Joseph F. Bataillon in Nebraska ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in the case Waters v. Ricketts, which was filed on November 17 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska. The case was filed on behalf of seven same-sex couples who either were unmarried and wanted to marry in Nebraska or were married out of state and sought respect for their marriages within the state. Judge Bataillon wrote that the order would go into effect at 8:00am on March 9, and Attorney General Peterson immediately requested a stay in this ruling.

Nebraska Attorney General Dough Peterson has announced that he will appeal the March 2 decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge Bataillon's ruling will be stayed until there is a ruling in that appeal.

The 8th Circuit's decision this week underscores the importance of a national resolution brought by the United States Supreme Court this summer. There is no good reason to delay the freedom to marry in any state, including Nebraska, and while we are disappointed that same-sex couples will be forced to wait longer for the joy of marriage in NE, we are committed toward making the case to the United States Supreme Court that ALL of America is ready for marriage.

Read more about litigation in Nebraska here.