LINCOLN — An Omaha state senator is planning a public hearing this fall on whether Nebraska should recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
“We need to forge ahead in my view and join the rest of the country in recognizing marriage equality,” Sen. Brad Ashford said Friday. “How we get there will be very difficult.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, as unconstitutional.
The court, in a separate ruling on a California case, opened the way for same-sex marriages to resume in that state but did not make such unions legal in all 50 states.
The court also did not, in its rulings, require states that do not allow same-sex unions to recognize such marriages from other states.
Nebraska is among the states that have passed a constitutional ban on such unions.
Ashford said that recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states is the right thing to do and has an economic development component.
Same-sex couples married in other states will move away, or choose not to locate in Nebraska, if the state does not recognize their rights, he said.
He said that one specific issue for the hearing will be what rights will be afforded to gay couples stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue.