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Same-sex marriage ballot measure clears hurdle in Nebraska

February 12, 2021 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A proposed ballot measure that would remove Nebraska’s unenforceable same-sex marriage ban from the state constitution is headed to the full Legislature for debate.

The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee advanced the proposed constitutional amendment on Thursday.

The measure’s sponsor, Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, of Lincoln, argued that voters should have the chance to strip the ban out of the Nebraska Constitution, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that such restrictions violate the U.S. Constitution and can’t be enforced.

Pansing Brooks said putting the issue on the ballot would allow voters to show that public attitudes toward same-sex marriage have changed in Nebraska. The amendment defining marriage the union of one man and one woman was enshrined in Nebraska’s constitution in 2000, with 70% support from voters.

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Socially conservative groups oppose the measure, arguing that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.