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Proposal would end Nebraska’s unenforceable gay marriage ban

January 29, 2021 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska lawmaker known as a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community presented a ballot measure to a legislative committee on Friday that would abolish the state’s unenforceable ban on same-sex marriages.

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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Pansing Brooks said the measure would help create an image of Nebraska as a welcoming place for young people and help the state economy.

Socially conservative groups oppose the measure, arguing that marriage can only be between one man and one woman and that purported economic benefits are overblown.