Bil Browning

Did Nebraska Just Accidentally Recognize Gay Marriages?

Filed By Bil Browning | February 04, 2015 2:50 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: gun laws, marriage benefits, Nebraska, same-sex marriage, whoops

whoops.jpgWhat happens when you mix guns with gays? Nebraska legislators discovered yesterday they may have accidentally recognized same-sex marriages while trying to expand gun rights. This would be a perfect storm of conservative values if God was involved.

Current law allows nonresident military members to apply for a concealed gun permit without having to first live in Nebraska for 180 days to establish residency. A bill advanced from the first round of debate on a 37-4 vote would waive the residency period for military spouses who want to apply for gun permits.
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The Department of Defense extended benefits to same-sex spouses in 2013 following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
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Sen. John Murante of Gretna, who did not vote for or against the bill, expressed concern that the Schumacher amendment could be used to challenge Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage.

"I think we just recognized gay marriage," he said moments after the vote. "We are now using the federal government's standard for who receives marriage benefits."

Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins, who sponsored the measure, said he does not think the amendment language will open up the state's marriage law to attack. The state constitution definitively says gay marriage is not recognized within Nebraska's borders, he added.

The forms that a gun permit applicant fill out ask nothing about the gender of an applicant's spouse, Bloomfield said.

Nebraska's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages is currently being challenged in federal court.

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